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Ernst Boehe

Symphonic Poems, Vol. 2

ERNST BOEHE (1880-1938): Symphonic Poems, Vol. 2 - Aus Odysseus' Fahrten: Odysseus' Heimkehr, Taormina, Symphonischer Epilog zu einer Tragödie, Op. 11. Exactly 30 months have passed since the first volume of Boehe's music appeared on our November 2002 cover (how time flies when you're not getting any younger). As we pointed out back then, he was a fairly close friend of Richard Strauss and the latter's influence shows in much of the music presented here. "From Odysseus' Voyages" (1903-05) is comprised of four tone poems (the first three lasting between 17-19 minutes); the fourth, Odysseus Heimkehr is a half-hour long summation of the hero's adventures, finding him home safely at the end, depicted in the same manner and style which collectors will recall from the previous release. Taormina (1905) combines Boehe's obvious love of Classical Antiquity with the northern European's fascination with the Mediterranean in music of an often legendary character, the shadows of the past speaking across the sun-drenched shores of Sicily. The Epilog, at 20 minutes, the shortest piece here, dates from 1919 and is full of deep anguished resignation, as befits its title. Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz; Frank Strobel. CPO 999 908 (Germany) 05G001 $15.98


1. DVDs - We're offering our first two opera DVDs this month. Given how much more one can get out of this format than from a simple CD release (some have "commentary" tracks which can be accessed at any point during the performance), these should become very popular. Those of you who may want to place special orders on labels in this format can do so from the following companies: Arthaus, BBC/Opus Arte, EuroArts and TDK. Much standard repertoire with attractive artists is available on them. When other DVD-only opera recordings are released, we'll offer them also.

2. Aurora back-orders: These should be in my hands by May 10 (more distributor-changing legal delays) and all of your back-orders should be filled this month.

3. Tudor - I've made contact with both Tudor and their new U.S. distributor with the result that the Raff Cello Concertos should be in June's catalogue and those of you back-ordered on various January Tudor releases should also be taken care of then.

e-mail: sales@recordsinternational.com

World Premiere Recording - Elgar: Piano Concerto

EDWARD ELGAR (1857-1934)/ROBERT WALKER (b.1946): Piano Concerto, Songs Rondel, ELGAR: Queen Mary's Song, The Shepherd's Song and Like to the Damask Rose (orch. Haydn Wood [1882-1959]), Adieu (orch. Henry Geehl [1881-1961]), For Chorus and Orchestra: So Many True Princesses (orch. Anthony Payne[b.1936]), Spanish Serenade, Op. 23, The Immortal Legions from Pageant of Empire, ANTHONY COLLINS (1893-1963): Elegy in Memory of Edward Elgar. Elgar started his piano concerto in 1913 and, along with the third symphony, was still working on it when he died. Lasting 37 minutes, the work as realized by Walker (beginning with the first performance in 1997, the concerto has been constantly refined and revised after subsequent performances) has an all-Elgar slow movement which existed in a two-piano autograph. Five other harmonized themes were written down by Elgar - three for the first movement, an introduction for the finale and a wistful reverie. Walker used the five piano improvisations recorded by the composer for EMI in 1929 to produce the finale. The outer movements of the concerto explore the same sound world as the slow movement of the symphony, giving more information as to where Elgar was going creatively. Filling out this 75-minute disc are the first stereo recordings of light-music composer Haydn Wood's song transcriptions; everything else is also a first recording except the Spanish Serenade and conductor Collins' 1942 Elegy is a strong, and moving ten-minute piece which bears rediscovery. David Owen Norris (piano), BBC Concert Singers, BBC Concert Orchestra; David Lloyd-Jones. Dutton Epoch CDLX 7148 (England) 05G002 $18.98

Newest "Swedish Romantics" Release from Sterling

HELENA MUNKTELL (1852-1919): Dala Suite, Op. 22, Suite for Large Orchestra, Walpurgisfire, Op. 24, Breaking Waves, Op. 19. Dating from the early 1890s, Breaking Waves is one of the earliest seascapes in Swedish music, a genre which has come to be identified with that country. As a woman, of course, Munktell was an amateur composer but she studied in France with Godard and D'Indy and lived there for long periods. Although a few tinges of Impressionism appear in Waves and the other tone-poem, Walpurgisfire (nothing devilish about this - this is merely the noctural bonfire celebrating the spring solstice), Munktell's music is most indebted, harmonically and in terms of orchestration, to D'Indy. Gävle Symphony Orchestra; Tobias Ringborg. Sterling CDS-1066-2 (Sweden) 05G003 $16.98

AlfrÁds KalniÚ (1879-1951): The Sea for Mezzo-Soprano, Baritone, Chorus and Orchestra (Antra Bigaca [mezzo], Bruno Egle [baritone], Latvian Radio, "Consum" & "Versija" Choirs, Latvian National Opera Orchestra; Andrejs Jansons), J,nis KalniÚ (1904-2000): Potter's Field for Tenor, Chorus and Orchestra (Janis Sprogis [tenor], Latvian Radio and "Consum" Choirs, Latvian National Symphony Orchestra; Jansons). Two dramatic cantatas from father-and-son Latvian composers who were, however, both emigrés at the time they were composed. Janis settled in New Brunswick in 1948 where he wrote his Potter's Field in 1958 (but only orchestrated in 1990 by the conductor on this recording), a 36-minute work which combines New Testament accounts of Jesus' betrayal with an English poem (by John Oxenham) translated into Latvian. The vivid scene painting, especially of the Oxenham poem's eerie "dance of death" depiction of cursed souls in the potter's field cemetary, suggests the waterscapes which father Alfreds depicts in The Sea. Written in 1929-30, just after he began his brief stay in New York, this 28-minute piece is more "orchestral song" than "cantata" with the chorus sometimes being employed for sound color; themes are developed orchestrally and the orchestra has equal access to the late Romantic melodic lines. Latvian-English texts. New York Latvian Chamber Choir NYLCC 007 (U.S.A.) 05G004 $16.98

JESÚS GURIDI (1886-1961): Sinfonía pirenaica. You're thinking "Basque 'Alpine Symphony'", right? Close: this 1945 work uses modalities associated with Basque folk music but its three movements (lasting just over 49 minutes) are each in modified sonata form and, while you can hear the mountain storms and the stillness of the heights and majesty of the vistas, this is not a symphonic poem but rather an attractive hybrid which should please anyone with a taste for outsized late Romanticism. Bilbao Symphony Orchestra; Juan José Mena. Naxos 8.557631 (New Zealand) 05G005 $6.98

HENDRIK ANDRIESSEN (1892-1981): Sonatina in One Movement, Sonata, HENRIETTE BOSMANS (1895-1952): Nuit calme from 3 Impressions, Arietta, JULIUS RÖNTGEN (1855-1932): Sonata in C Minor, GÉZA FRID (1904-1989): Sonatina, Op. 25. Most of this disc of Dutch music for viola is of late Romantic personality. Röntgen's 1924 sonata, at 22 minutes, the longest work here, is suffused with Romantic struggle and stormy restlessness with a couple of windows of calm; Andriessen's sonata (1667) is 43 years apart from his charming Sonatina but both are in late Romantic style, the later work being more somber and grave than the more vibrantly emotional Sonatina. Bosman's little pieces for violin act as transcribed intermezzi in this program, which ends with Frid's 1946 piece which is more obviously of the 20th century with its spiky rhythmic contrasts (and which uses scordatura tuning in the outer parts of its slow movement) and colorful chromaticism. Francien Schatborn (viola), Jeannette Koekkoek (piano). Etcetera KTC 1255 (Netherlands) 05G006 $17.98

FRÉDÉRIC DEVREESE (b.1929): Valse d'un Soir, Valse Première, Valse Sacrée, Simple Waltz, Romantic Waltz, Mystic Waltz, Danse Sacrée, Divertimento II, Prélude No. 2, 4 Short Waltzes, Benvenuta, The Third Waltz, Nocturne, Concertina Waltz, Butterfly, Waltzes I and II, The other Waltz, Mobile. All of these pieces are waltzes and many of them are clothed in the melancholic, smokily erotic atmosphere of the tango, turning them into miniature tone-poems of longing, oppression and thinly-veiled emotions of the dark side. Several originated as film cues and, as brief psychological portraits, one can easily see why Devreese's scores have been so successful in French-speaking lands. Luc Devos (piano). Klara/Etcetera KTC 4003 (Netherlands) 05G007 $17.98

ROBERT DI DOMENICA (b.1927): Symphony, ROGER SESSIONS (1896-1985): Piano Concerto, CHARLES WUORINEN (b.1938): Grand Bamboula, ELLIOTT CARTER (b.1908): Variations for Orchestra. This disc offers four works by leading American composers of the highest quality, which occupy the more readily accessible end of the composers' respective uvres. A case in point is Sessions' concerto, which disguises its dodecaphonic underpinning in twenty minutes of eloquent, even lyrical expressiveness, with the soloist as passionate protagonist. Di Domenica's symphony is also based on note-rows, but so rich in harmony and timbre is his symphonic writing that one is only intermittently aware of the thorough working out of the dodecaphonic argument. Both Schoenberg and Busoni stand in the background of this work (all the more so as the composer makes use of an almost-row derived from Mozart, which was just the sort of thing that delighted the two greatest innovators of the beginning of the 20th century). Similar formal rigor is similarly disguised in Wuorinen's sensual and energetic dance-movement for strings. The astonishingly inventive 'Variations' is well known as the easy way in to Carter's music, and its ready appeal, without a hint of compromise of the composer's accustomed methods, render it instantly accessible even to those who may have concerns about the image of the 'complex Carter'. Robert Taub (piano), Munich Philharmonic; James Levine. Oehms Classics OC 502 (Germany) 05G008 $13.98

JOHN HARBISON (b.1938): Symphony No. 3, CHARLES IVES (1874-1954): Symphony No. 2, GEORGE GERSHWIN (1898-1937): Cuban Overture. Harbison's tautly argued and emotionally complex Symphony starts from a bold, even aggressive opening gesture, not unrelated (though presumably coincidentally) to Vaughan Williams' Sixth, and then spends the best part of half an hour traversing five basic 'moods', from nostalgia, through passion, to an uneasy resignation, in an attempt to achieve some sort of reconciliation with the apparent decisiveness with which it opened. If this sounds rather neo-Romantic in concept, it is; Harbison uses various kinds of serial techniques in the 'composer's workshop', but some modernistic elements notwithstanding, much of the work is related more closely to Mahler or Shostakovich than to anything explicitly second-Viennese. Ives' symphony, which the composer begins in Brahmsian romanticism and starts incorporating musical 'found objects' in a magpie's nest of allusions and quotations (while retaining a solid structure, as began not to be the case in his later, more characteristic, works) is an attractive bonus. Munich Philharmonic; James Levine. Oehms Classics OC 507 (Germany) 05G009 $13.98

LENNOX BERKELEY (1903-1989): Ruth, Op. 50. The second one-acter Berkeley wrote for the English Opera Group after A Dinner Engagement (which we offered late last year), Ruth is a biblical drama in three scenes which deals with the marriage of Ruth and Boaz. Predominantly lyrical and pastoral (there are some very attractive harvest festival scenes, reminiscent of Britten's Gloriana, in the final scene), the vocal writing reminds us of the composer's studies with Boulanger, that Poulenc was a friend and that he himself had French ancestry. Libretto included. Jean Rigby (mezzo), Mark Tucker (tenor), Yvonne Kenny (soprano), Joyful Company of Singers, City of London Sinfonia; Richard Hickox. Chandos 10301 (England) 05G010 $17.98

LEE HOIBY (b.1926): A Month in the Country. Originally titled Natalia Petrovna, this opera was based on Turgenev's play dealing with various eruptions of love in an isolated country house amidst complex characters. The setting may instantly make one think of Barber's Vanessa and Hoiby's melodious, lyrical style recalls both Barber and Hoiby's own teacher, Menotti. Humane, gently humorous and always attractive to listen to, this 1981 revision of the original 1964 New York City Opera premiere should help this underappreciated American composer's reputation as as competent a composer for the stage as he often was for the screen. 2 CDs. Libretto included. Manhattan School of Music Opera Theater; Steven Osgood. Albany TROY 747-748 (U.S.A.) 05G011 $33.98

HENRI DUTILLEUX (b.1916): La Geôle and 2 Sonnets de Jean Cassou for Baritone and Orchestra, L'Arbre des Songes for Violin and Orchestra, Mystère de l'Instant for 24 Strings, Cymbalom and Percussion. We offer this for the five-minute first recording of the orchestral song La Geôle from 1944 (romantic enough in style for one to be likely to guess its composer), four years before the piano sonata which the composer recognized as his first opus. Of course, this is also a good opportunity for anyone who doesn't yet know Dutilleux's unique voice to begin to do so now, at budget-price. While really never sounding like anyone else, his music has a concern with texture and sound color like Messiaen and the two major works here, 30 years apart in composition, give you a good example of early and late Dutilleux. Olivier Charlier (violin), François Le Roux (baritone), Bordeaux Aquitaine National Orchestra; Hans Graf. Arte Nova ANO 638250 (Germany) 05G012 $4.98

ROBERT CASADESUS (1899-1972): Piano Trio No. 1, Op. 6, Cello Sonata, Op. 22, Hommage à Chausson for Violin and Piano, Op. 51, Piano Trio No. 2, Op. 53. After a disc of his symphonies on Chandos (01G002) we now have chamber works from this celebrated pianist. Like his symphonies, and like the composers he was closely associated with - Fauré, Debussy and Ravel - these pieces (which date from 1924 to 1956) exhibit a keen sense of color, proportion, clarity and lyricism and will delight anyone who loves French music of the first half of the 20th century. Trio Henry. Opus Millésime GCK 20044 (France) 05G013 $17.98

FRANCESCO CAVALLI (1602-1676): Missa pro defunctis, 3 Sonate, 3 Motets. The requiem, written sometime between 1670 and 1675, is a deeply personal work, anguished and moving in its sense of the desolation of old age. Three sonatas are interpolated with the requiem as well as three Gregorian chants for the parts of the mass Cavalli did not set. The motets date from 1625, 1645 and 1656, rounding out a widely varied picture of the composer's small surviving catalogue. Yetzabel Arias Fernandez (soprano), Florin Cezar Ouatu (sopranista), Roberto Quintarelli (alto), Michael Paumgarten (tenor), Gianluca Buratto (bass), "C. Monteverdi" Choir of Crema, Cantori Gregoriani, Academia Dià.Pason, Quoniam; Bruno Gini. Tactus TC 600312 (Italy) 05G014 $11.98

GIACOMO CARISSIMI (1604-1674): Regina Hester, Diologo del Gigante Golia, De tempore interfecto Sisar, Diluvium univerale - Dialogo del Noe. Whether one calls them "dialogues" or oratorios, these never-before-recorded works range from the fairly static (Regina Hester) to the vividly dramatic (Diluvium Universale with striking representations of thunder and lightning) and there is much virtuosic writing for the high voices. Latin-English texts. Monika Mauch, Constanze Backes (sopranos), Wilfried Jochens (tenor), Harry van der Kamp (bass), La Capella Ducale, Musica Fiata; Roland Wilson. CPO 999 983 (Germany) 05G015 $15.98

PHILIPP FRIEDRICH BUCHNER (1614-1669): 15 Sonatas from Plectrum musicum, Op. 4. For varying combinations of strings or strings and bassoon (and one for a pair of bassoons), these sonatas date from 1662 when the form of the sonata was in its earliest stage of development. Ranging from 3 to 8 minutes in length and from four to six or more sections, these are inventive little pieces which may have had both sacred and secular uses at the court where Buchner lived and worked. Parnassi musici. CPO 777 132 (Germany) 05G016 $15.98

JOHANN KASPAR KERLL (1627-1693): Missa nigra, Excerpts from Delectus Sacraraum Cantionum, AGOSTINO STEFFANI (1654-1728): Laudate pueri. The first native Bavarian to make his name in music at Munich, Kerll was best known by his contemporaries for his operas (all lost) but his sacred works were important as well. Both the mass and the sacred songs (rather similar in form and style to Schütz) date from 1669 while the young Steffani's short piece datefrom four years later. Latin-German texts. Gerlinde Sämann, Constanze Backes (sopranos), Alan Dornak (altus), Robert Sellier, Hermann Oswald (tenors), Thomas Hamberger (bass-baritone), Orpheus Choir Munich, Munich Neue Hofkapelle; Gerd Guglhör. Oehms Classics OC 358 (Germany) 05G017 $10.98

DIETRICH BUXTEHUDE (c.1637-1707): Complete Chamber Music, Vol. 1 - 7 Violin Sonatas, Op. 1. Now, even older Dacapo issues are beginning to be reissued at budget-price on Naxos, making this collection of widely varied and expressive works alternating between fantasy and strict contrapuntal style a very attractive acquisition for collectors of the Buxtehude's still under-represented chamber music. John Holloway (violin), Jaap ter Linden (viola da gamba), Lars Ulrik Mortensen (harpsichord). Orginal 1994 Dacapo release. Naxos 8.557248 (New Zealand) 05G018 $6.98

JEAN-BAPTISTE LULLY (1632-1687): Lully Edition, Vol. 3 - La Grotte de Versailles, 4 Airs de Trompettes, Timbales et Hautbois pour Le Carrousel de Monseigneur, Les Plaisirs de l'Ile Enchantée (1ère Journée). This live recording makes up the other half of the concert which was issued on Vol. 2 of this series and contains a pastoral divertissment (or chamber opera) of 35 minutes in length which dates from 1668 and was, at the time, a new genre which would lead to the creation of the tragédie lyrique five years later. Two sets of marches and airs for the beginning of the festivities from 1664 and 1686 (the latter standing in for music from the 1668 event which has been lost) complete the recreation of a night at Versailles. French texts. Julie Hassler, Raphaële Kennedy, Françoise Masset (sopranos), Renaud Tripathi (tenor), Jean-Louis Georgel (baritone), Philippe Roche (bass), La Simphonie du Marais; Hugo Reyne. Accord 461 811-2 (France) 05G019 $17.98

CHRISTIAN GEIST (c.1640-1711): Arias "Vater unser, der du bist im Himmel" and "Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern", SAMUEL EBART (1655-1684): Aria "Miserere, Christe, mei", FRANZ TUNDER (1614-16667): Aria "Ach Herr, lass deine lieben Engelein", CHRISTOPH BERNHARD (1628-1692): Aria "Aus der Tiefe rufe ich zu dir ", DIETRICH BUXTEHUDE (1637-1707): Sonata in B Flat, Op. 1/4, JOHANN VIERDANK (c.1605-1646): Passemezzo e la sua Gagliarda, JOHANN ADAM REINCKEN (1623-1722): Suite No. 6 in A, THOMAS BALTZAR (c.1630/31-1663): 4 Airs for Solo Violin. A rich collection of mostly quite unknown composers from the north of Germany and Denmark, equally divided between instrumental music and sacred concertos and arias. German-English texts. Ruth Ziesak (soprano), Berliner Barock-Compagney. Capriccio 67 125 (Germany) 05G020 $16.98

ARCANGELO CORELLI (1653-1713): 12 Trio Sonatas, Op. 1, 12 Trio Sonatas, Op. 2, 12 Trio Sonatas, Op. 3, 12 Trio Sonatas, Op. 4, 12 Violin Sonatas, Op. 5, 12 Concerti grossi, Op. 6, 6 Trio Sonatas, WoO 5-10, Sonata a 4 for Trumpet, 2 Violins and Continuo, WoO 4, Sinfonia, WoO 1, Sonata a 4 WoO 2. Literally "all the Corelli you can shake a stick at", this is the influential Italian's entire corpus only about a fifth of which is available at budget-price and including almost a dozen works without opus number which are almost unknown to CD. Brand-new period-instrument recordings. 10 CDs. Musica Amphion; Pieter-Jan Belder. Brilliant Classics 92403 (Netherlands) 05G021 $59.98

ALESSANDRO SCARLATTI (1660-1725): Messa per il SS.mo Natale. This Christmas mass of 1709 is recreated with all of the additions and insertions for the introitum, offertorium, communionem and finem common to services of the period: five organ pieces and a motet by Bernardo Pasquini (1637-1710), a motet by Francesco Foggia (1604-1688), a separate motet by Scarlatti and six segments of Gregorian chant. Festina Lente, I Musici di Santa Pelagia; Michele Gasbarro. Stradivarius STR 33646 (Italy) 05G022 $17.98

JOHAN SCHENCK (1660-c.1720): Bass Viol Sonatas L'Écho du Danube, Nos. 1-4. Back in November 2003, we offered a Dutch compliation gamba recital with one of these sonatas on it. Schenck turned out to be one of the most technically demanding of composers for the viol (there is an unaccompanied fugue in the first sonata) and this full disc's worth of his French suite-like sonatas will delight gamba enthusiasts. Sándor Szászvárosi (viola da gamba), Angelika Czizmadia (harpsichord), Nóra Kallai (viola da gamba). Hungaroton HCD 32287 (Hungary) 05G023 $17.98

JOHANN JOSEPH FUX (1660-1741): Requiem Aeternam "Kaiserrequiem", Trio Sonata in D Minor, Ciaccona for Organ, Motet De profundis, Adagio for Organ and other short instrumental pieces and movements. This 1991 recording seems to intend to represent an actual requiem mass, with a sonata, other instrumental inserts and short motets mixed into and wrapped around the requiem which Fux composed in 1720 for Leopold I's widow. Given Arte Nova's checkered history of U.S. distribution, we thought it wasn't a bad idea to offer it in its newest incarnation. Clemencic Consort; René Clemencic. Original 1995 Arte Nova release. Arte Nova ANO 277770 (Germany) 05G024 $4.98

GEORG CASPAR SCHÜRMANN (1672/73-1751): Suite Ludovicus Pius, PHILIPP HEINRICH ERLEBACH (1657-1714): Ouverture No. 4, REINHARD KEISER (1674-1739): Le Ridicule Prince Jodelet - Sinfonia, JOHANN CHRISTIAN SCHIEFERDECKER (1679-1732): Concert musical No. 1, GEORG FRIDERIC HANDEL (1685-1759): Suite of Dances from Almira. Titled "Overtures for the Hamburg Opera", this disc actually supplies a variety of works: Schürmann's suite (1726) is as full-fledged a Telemannian ouverture as Erlebach's (1693), in eight and nine movements, respectively. Keiser (1726) provides a "real", four-minute overture while Schieferdecker, Buxtehude's successor at the organist's post in Lübeck is represented by a five-movement suite in French style. Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin. Harmonia Mundi HMC 901852 (France) 05G025 $17.98

NICOLAS CLERAMBAULT (1676-1749): Léandre et Héro, Médée, FRANÇOIS COLIN DE BLAMONT (1690-1760): Circé, PHILIPPE COURBOIS (1705-1730): Ariane. These fine examples of the cantate françoise all date from the first decade or so of the 18th century and, as a look at the titles above will show, they all represent women either betrayed or abandoned, offering the composers perfect material for the exquisite depiction of highly-strung, overwrought minds. French-English texts. Agnès Mellon (soprano), Barcarole. Alpha 068 (France) 05G026 $17.98

JEAN-BAPTISTE QUENTIN (1685-c.1750): Trio Sonatas, Op. 4, Nos. 1-3 & Op. 8, Nos. 1-3. Admired in his own time as a violinist worthy of mention along with Leclair and Mondonville, Quentin has been practically forgotten today, making this issue of six trio sonatas particularly worthwhile. Dating from 1729 and c.1737, they show the composer moving from the Corellian sonata da chiesa toward a more orchestral, concerto-like style in the five- and six-movement later sonatas. Ensemble Quentin le Jeune. Etcetera KTC 1271 (Netherlands) 05G027 $17.98

Contredanses from the Dresden Court by Johann Adam (c.1705-1779), Johann Christoph Richter (1700-1785), Antonio Bigatti, François Louis Delpesch, J.G. Simon and several anonymous composers. The sound-portion of an undertaking to recreate both the music and dance at the Dresden court during the 18th century (around 250 choreographies survive along with thousands of dances), this new recording offers 17 contredanses - a snap-shot of what the rich and famous were dancing or listening to when they appeared at court in Dresden. Further info in booklet for those wishing to pursue the choreographic aspect also. Les Berlinois (violin, flute/oboe, cello, harpsichord, percussion). Profil PH05002 (Germany) 05G028 $17.98

GIUSEPPE ANTONIO PAGANELLI (1710-c.1763): 6 Trio Sonatas, Op. 1. An engaging, stylistically heterogeneous group of pieces in which movements of baroque sensibility stand side-by-side with classical minuets, slow movements of Empfinsamkeit style and pre-Classical serenade type. Benedek Csalog (flute), László Paulik (violin), Balázs Máté (cello), Carmen Leoni (harpsichord). Hungaroton HCD 32233 (Hungary) 05G029 $17.98

JAN DISMAS ZELENKA (1679-1745): Good Friday Responsories from Responsoria pro hebgomada sancta, FRANTISEK IGNÁC ANTONÍN TUMA (1704-1774): Sinfonia n B, Sonatas in A Minor and in E Minor. Zelenka combined the meticulous polyphony of his teacher Fux (and of the Palestrina tradition) with a baroque composer's sense of the emotional content of these penitential songs and Passion accounts to produce an exciting, personal style in these 1723 Responsories. The coupling is even more desirable given how very little Tuma is available; now we have 21 more minutes of his late baroque instrumental music at hand. Texts included. Boni Pueri, Musica Florea; Marek Stryncl. Supraphon SU 3806-2 (Czech Republic) 05G030 $16.98

18th century opera arias by: NICCOLÓ JOMMELLI (1714-1774): Armida abbandonata, LEONARDO LEO (1694-1744): Catone in Utica, GIOVANNI BATTISTA PERGOLESI (1710-1736): Adriano in Siria, L'Olympiade, GIOVANNI PAISIELLO (1741-1816): L'Olimpiade, NICCOLÓ PICCINNI (1728-1800): L'Olimpiade, ANTONIO SACCHINI (1730-1786): L'eroe-cinese, BALDASSARE GALUPPI (1706-1785): Antigona, TOMMASO TRAETTA (1727-1779): Aria from unknown opera Cara, se le mie pene. A useful sample of unknown late Baroque and early Classical Italian opera a look at whose repertoire will make it self-recommending to specialists in the field. Italian-English texts. Mónika González (soprano), Savaria Baroque Orchestra; Fabio Pirona. Hungaroton HCD 32253 (Hungary) 05G031 $17.98

MICHAEL HAYDN (1737-1806): Andromeda e Perseo. Haydn's only opera in Italian was commissioned by the archbishop of Salzburg, whose conservatism made him request an opera seria which, by 1787 when this work was premiered, was a played-out genre. Nonetheless, Haydn delivered all the pomp and splendor the genre demanded while slipping in some rather buffo behavior for the character of King Cefeo. Like in his German operas, Haydn seems happier composing in instrumental style and the orchestra is an important player in its own right. 2 CDs. Italian-English libretto. Beatrix Fodor, Gabriella Gál (sopranos), Tibor Szappanos (tenor), Bence Asztalos (bass), Mixed Chorus of the Scuola Superiore Dániel Berzsenyi, Savaria Symphony Orchestra; Tamás Pál. Bongiovanni GB 2377/78 (Italy) 05G032 $33.98

MICHAEL HAYDN (1737-1806): Missa Sancti Leopoldi, Vespers in F, Deutsches Magnificat, Notturno in F for 2 Horns and Strings. The St. Leopold mass was Haydn's last completed work and, like the 1793 Vespers, was written for his choir boys in Salzburg. Both are short, flowing works of transparent textures and have a delightful, pastoral simplicity. Filling out this 1991 live recording (never previously issued) is a very Mozartian three-movement Notturno. Marie-Noëlle de Callataÿ, Petra van Tendeloo (sopranos), Rachel Fabry (mezzo), Capella Concinite, Collegium Instrumentale Brugense; Florian Heyerick. Etcetera KTC 1257 (Netherlands) 05G033 $17.98

LUIGI BOCCHERINI (1743-1805) 6 String Quintets, Op. 10 (G. 265-70). The cover says "Vol. 1"; which means that only another 21 or so two-CD sets and we'll have all of the string quintets! So begin enjoying Boccherini's gift for melody, sparkling minuets and his early play at formal experimentation in these, his first works in the genre which date from 1771, shortly after his arrival in Spain. 2 CDs. La Magnifica Comunità. Brilliant Classics 92503 (Netherlands) 05G034 $10.98

JOSEPH EYBLER (1765-1846): Die vier letzten Dinge. This three-part oratorio, representing the End of Days (the end of the world, the resurrection of the dead/Last Judgement and the redemption of the blessed) was first performed in 1810. Eybler borrows fully from Haydn's oratorio world both in structure and in sound and his gift at colorful tone-painting gets plenty of practice with the hair-raising events of the first two parts. In fact, the arias and choruses sometimes pale in comparison to the orchestral writing so this might be one case for confirmed vocal-work avoiders to take a chance. If you like Haydn's The Creation, you're probably going to like Eybler's The Destruction. 2 CDs. German-English texts. Elisabeth Scholl (soprano), Markus Schäfer (tenor), Peter Kooij (bass), Rheinische Kantorei, Das Kleine Konzert; Hermann Max. CPO 777 024 (Germany) 05G035 $31.98

GEORG DRUSCHETZKY (1745-1819): String Quintets in G Minor, E Flat & D, Quintetto concertando in F. Druschetzky could write pieces without multiple timpani in them too! These quintets, from 1796 and 1806 have many echoes of late Mozart about them, the concertando work proving its title with stand-out roles for first violin and cello. Festetics String Quartet, Kriszta Véghelyi (viola). Hungaroton HCD 32290 (Hungary) 05G036 $17.98


ANTONIO SALIERI (1750-1825): Tartare. Tarare was such a great success in Paris in 1787 that Emperor Joseph II commissioned Salieri to compose an Italian version of this opera (Axur re d'Ormus). Indeed Mozart only began to work with Da Ponte after the latter's huge success with Salieri in France. This Schwetzingen Festival recording of 1988 is mentioned in the standard reference work, Piper's "Enzyklopädie des Musiktheater", singling out Jean-Louis Martinoty's well judged staging and extolling in particular the exemplary casting and the way in which the imaginative sets complemented the strident gravitas of the work. From the cast special praise was lavished upon Lorenz as the lively and witty chief eunuch Calpigi, and Lafont as the vocally powerful tyrant Atar. Sung in French, English subtitles. Howard Crook, Eberhard Lorenz (tenors), Jean-Philippe Lafont (baritone), Anna Caleb (soprano), Deutsche Händel Solisten; Jean-Claude Malgoire. Arthaus Music DVD 100 557 (Germany) 05G037 $29.98

JOHANN NEPOMUK HUMMEL (1778-1837): Piano Sonatas, No. 2 in E Flat, Op. 13 & No. 3 in F Minor, Op. 20, Variations sur un thème d'"Armide" de Gluck, Op. 57, La Contemplazione, Op. 107/3, La bella capricciosa, Op. 55. The six-octave Brodmann fortepiano copy used here for the shorter pieces is a perfect instrument for Hummel's light, fluid and elegant piano style which, in these sorts of pieces, look forward to the milieu of Paris salons. A Walter copy is used for the sonatas. Christoph Hammer (fortepiano). Oehms Classics 360 (Germany) 05G038 $10.98

LOUIS SPOHR (1784-1859): Complete String Quartets, Vol. 10 - No 24 in G, Op. 82/2 & No. 25 in A Minor, Op. 82/3. A lot of you must have thought this moribund series, instigated by Records International's previous owners (collectors will remember the RI logo appearing on the Marco Polo covers along with the Marco Polo logo on this series) was dead. So did we. Yet, here comes more Spohr (and Vol. 11 will be along next month), these two quartets dating from the end of 1828 and beginning of 1829, full of Spohr's characteristic delight in formal innovation. Moscow Philharmonic Concertino String Quartet. Marco Polo 8.225306 (New Zealand) 05G039 $9.98

JEAN-FRANÇOIS-VICTOR BELLON (1795-1869): Brass Quintets in F, C, A & E. Written around 1850, these quartets are from the period when new valved brass instruments greatly increased the ease with which they could be played and the repertoire of music for them increased accordingly. In four movements, with second movement minuets, third movement adagios or romances and final rondos, these quintets, in their instrumentation, betray the fact that their composer was, first and foremost, a violinist! Ewald Brass Quintet. Hungaroton HCD 32285 (Hungary) 05G040 $17.98

FRANZ SCHUBERT (1797-1828)/RICHARD DÜNSER (b.1959): Der Graf von Gleichen, D 918. Left in a fragmentary state at Schubert's death, including a complete lack of finale, Der Graf has had one other completion recorded on CD (the Cincinnati conservatory version on Centaur). Dunser's completion was commissioned by the styriarte festival in Austria and premiered in 1997. Unlike the other version, Dunser composes a polystylistic finale with Schubert reminiscences, clusters and atonality. The matter is complicated but we're happy to refer you to a very good article on The Schubert Institute (UK) web-site at myweb.tiscali.co.uk/franzschubert/articles/cvgint.html. 2 CDs. German libretto. Florian Boesch (baritone), Cornelia Horak, Letizia Scherrer (sopranos), Kurt Sternik (speaker), KornmarktChor Bregenz, Vorarlberg Symphony Orchestra; Christoph Eberle. Oehms Classics OC 903 (Germany) 05G041 $33.98

GAETANO DONIZETTI (1797-1848): L'Addio, O Crudel, La lontananza, Che vuoi di più?, C'est le printemps, La Gondoliera, Les Gondoliers de l'Adriatique, La Sultane, L'Addio II, La nouvelle Ourika, Predestinazione, Vision, Tu mi chiedi, 6 Notturni from Nuits à Pausilippe. From three published collections (1836-1842), these salon songs and duets show Donizetti adapting wonderfully from the stage to the stylized, sentimental atmosphere of the broken heart, the separation, the lost love (on the one hand) and the giddy, often waltz-inspired expressions of joie de vivre (on the other). Except for the fact that only one composer is represented, this is exactly what Opera Rara have been doing with their Il Salotto series. French, Italian-English texts. Sophie Marin-Degor (soprano), Claire Brua (mezzo), Serge Cyferstein (piano). Alpha 070 (France) 05G042 $17.98

GAETANO DONIZETTI (1797-1848): Complete Piano Music - 4 Allegros, 2 Larghettos, Adagio and Allegro, Presto, La Ricordanza, 2 motivi del celebre Maestro Päer messi in suonata, 6 Waltzes, 6 Sinfonias, Capriccio in Sinfonia, Giuseppina, Fugue, Pastorale, Grande Offertorio, 3 Variation sets. About two years ago, we offered a complete Donizetti piano series on three full-price Italian discs (Adriano Paolini on the Well label) released separately. Here's a much cheaper way of doing it if you're inclined! 3 CDs. Mid-price. Pietro Spada (piano). Arts 47730-2 (Germany) 05G043 $32.98

GAETANO DONIZETTI (1797-1828): Francesca di Foix. An "odd man out" in the composer's oeuvre, this 1831 melodramma giocosa is the last comic opera Donizetti wrote before embarking on a decade which contained his most famous serious operas. The orchestration is generally light, with much delicate filigree work for the woodwinds and there is much piquancy and attention to detail in character delineation. Also, Donizetti mined this forgotten piece for much music which you'll recognize from the dramatic operas to come, so this new release is also good for playing spot the original tune. Due to the length of the opera, the accompanying notes, libretto and color photos run only to a paltry 106 pages. Italian-English libretto. Pietro Spagnoli (baritone), Bruce Ford (tenor), Jennifer Larmore (mezzo), Annick Massis (soprano). Geoffrey Mitchell Choir, London Philharmonic Orchestra; Antonello Allemandi. Opera Rara ORC 28 (England) 05G044 $19.98

FELIX MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847): Athalia, Op. 74. Finally premiered at the end of 1845 after a long, tortuous genesis, the incidental music to a German version of Racine's play Athalie represents one of Mendelssohn's final attempts at creating a new musical-dramatic language for his times. Two years after his death, a friend condensed all of Racine's dialogues and complicated action into spoken monologues which relay the dramatic action which takes place between Mendelssohn's six solo/choral pieces. Of the 63 minutes on the CD, only around 12 is taken up by the narrator. Copious notes on every aspect of the music and the artistic situation in Berlin under Kaiser Friedrich Wilhelm IV. German-English texts. Anna Korondi, Sabina Martin (sopranos), Ann Hallenberg, Barbara Ochs (contraltos), Dirk Schortemeier (narrator), Chorus Musicus Köln, Das Neue Orchester; Christoph Spering. Capriccio 67 068 (Germany) 05G045 $16.98

STEPHEN HELLER (1813-1888): 25 Melodischen Etüden, Op. 45, 30 Etüden in fortschreitender Schwierigkeit, Op. 46, 25 Etüden zur Bildung des Gefühls für musikalischen Rhythmus und Ausdrück, Op. 47. Except for a cpo disc of his late music, Heller's is a name lost in the dim footnotes of early Romanticism making this brand-new recording of three of his etude cycles a major event for piano collectors. Generally in the Schumannian vein (Heller was a correspondant for Schumann's "Neue Zeitschift für Musik"), the etudes are also very melodic, sometimes in a "Song without Words" fashion, setting technical tasks but making them more desirable of accomplishment through the pleasure of the melody. Well-filled - 130 minutes of unrecorded Romanticism here! 2 CDs. Jan Vermeulen (piano). Brilliant Classics 92506 (Netherlands) 05G046 $10.98

ROBERT VOLKMANN (1815-1883): Visegrad - 12 Musical Poems, Op. 21, Au tombeau du Comte Széchenyi, Op. 41, Ungarische Lieder, Op. 20, Souvenir de Maróth, Op. 6. The 42-minute set of "musical poems" dates from 1855 and was inspired by the ruins of the castle on the Danube which is also firmly embedded in Czech folklore and history. Scenes of knighthood, love and wedding lead to the battle and ultimate fate of the castle. The op. 41 is a full-fledged, 19-minute fantasy (1860) which runs the usual gamut from grief through mourning to a profession of allegiance to the nation. István Kassai (piano). Hungaroton HCD 32231 (Hungary) 05G047 $17.98

CLARA SCHUMANN (1819-1896): Piano Concerto in A Minor, Op. 7, Piano Trio in G Minor, Op. 17. It would appear that this is Clara's concerto's first appearance at budget-price so, those who don't have the work at all or those who want to compare and contrast different performances will find no reason to pass it by. Written between 1833 and 1835, when she performed it with Mendelssohn on the podium, it is strikingly lyrical (one hesitates to say "feminine") but still virtuosic and the reason the last movement sounds much like husband Robert is that it was the first movement Clara wrote and he orchestrated it. The 30-minute trio (1846) has similar virtues. Francesco Nicolosi (piano), Alma Mahler Sinfonietta; Stefania Rinaldi, Rodolfo Bonucci (violin), Andrea Noferini (cello). Naxos 8.557552 (New Zealand) 05G048 $6.98

ANTON BRUCKNER (1824-1896): Symphony No. 7 in E (arr. clarinet, horn, string quartet, double bass, piano four hands and harmonium by Erwin Stein [1885-1958], Hanns Eisler [1898-1955] and Karl Rankl [1898-1968]). Transcribed by three of Schoenberg's students at the end of 1921, this piece was never performed as the "Society for Private Musical Performances" (many of whose other transcriptions have been recorded recently) had just ceased business under the hammer of German inflation. The double bass player in the ensemble recorded here found the manuscript only a few years ago in a Schoenberg archive in Vienna and the work was premiered in March of 2000. The string instruments play their own parts while the piano and horn stand in for the brass and the clarinet and harmonium for the woodwinds. Collectors familiar with the Mahler Fourth arrangement from the same period will know that this really works and can be a fascinating listening experience! Thomas Christian Ensemble. MD&G 603 1313-2 (Germany) 05G049 $17.98

CARLOS GOMES (1836-1896): Salvator Rosa. Oddly enough, nine months after a semi-professional recording of this opera appeared in these pages, we now have the first digital, fully professional version of the work from Dynamic. So, even though Opera Grove considers it the "least inspired" of Gomes' operas, we're now spoiled for choice on CD. Go figure... 2 CDs. Italian-English libretto. Mauro Pagano (tenor), Francesca Scaini (soprano), Bratislava Chamber Choir, Orchestra Internazionale d'Italia; Maurizio Benini. Dynamic CDS 472/1-2 (Italy) 05G050 $35.98

CHRISTIAN JULIUS WEISSENBORN (1837-1888): Bassoon and Piano: 6 Recital Pieces, Op. 9, 3 Recital Pieces, Op. 10, Capriccio, Op. 14, Romanze, Op. 3, 3 Bassoon Trios from Op. 4. An attractive recital of Romantic bassoon pieces from a composer/pedagogue whose bassoon tutor is still used today. Robert Williams (bassoon), Michele Cooker (piano), Kristen Sonneborn, Juan de Gomar (bassoons). Equilibrium EQ 72 (U.S.A.) 05G051 $16.98

GABRIEL FAURÉ (1845-1924): Complete Songs, Vol. 2 - Mai, Op. 1/2, Puisqu'ici-bas toute âme, Op. 10/1, Dans les ruines d'une abbaye, Op. 2/1, Lydia, Op. 4/2, L'absent, Op. 5/3, Chant d'automne, Op. 5/1, Tristesse, Op. 6/2, Après un rêve, Op. 7/1, Le voyageur, Op. 18/2, Sérénade toscane, Op. 3/2, Automne, Op. 18/3, La fée aux chansons, Op. 27/2, Noël, Op. 43/1, Clair de lune, Op. 46/2, Spleen, Op. 51/3, Il est né, le divin enfant, En prière, Prison, Op. 83/1, Dans la forêt de septembre, Op. 85/1, Chanson, Op. 94, Le jardin clos, Op. 106. The second of four discs of Fauré's songs, each choosing a program from across the composer's four creative periods, receives the usual deluxe Hyperion treatment although this time, the booklets are small enough to fit into a regular jewel-box. French-English texts. Geraldine McGreevey, Jennifer Smith, Felicity Lott, Stella Doufexis (sopranos), John Mark Ainsley, Jean-Paul Fouchécourt (tenors), Christopher Maltman, Stephen Varcoe (baritones), Graham Johnson (piano). Hyperion CDA 67334 (England) 05G052 $18.98

PETER TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893): Moscow for Mezzo-Soprano, Baritone, Chorus and Orchestra (N. Derbina [mezzo], A. Polyakov [baritone], Moscow Radio Choir and Symphony Orchestra; Gennady Cherkasov), Cantata in Commemoration of the Bicentennary of Peter the Great for Tenor, Chorus and Orchestra (Lev Kuznetsov [tenor], Moscow Radio Choir and Symphony Orchestra; Vladimir Kozhukhar), Nature and Love for 2 Sopranos, Alto, Chorus and Piano (R. Glushkova, T. Alexandrova [sopranos], L. Simonova [alto], State Radio Choir Women's Group; L. Yermakova, T. Kravchenko [piano]). Russian radio recordings from 1982 and 1988 of minor Tchaikovsky; the Moscow cantata is the best work here. Commissioned for the coronation of Alexander III in 1883, its 24 minutes have a fairly epic sweep to them and motifs from the 1812 Overture and Glinka's Life for the Tsar make their appearances as well. The other cantata, from 1872, is almost as good, with several melodies which will show up later in more famous works while the 9-minute Nature and Love was a chamber piece written for a benefit concert of the composer's smaller-scale compositions. No texts. Regis RRC 1182 (England) 05G053 $9.98

LUIGI MANCINELLI (1848-1921): Paolo e Francesca. This single-act work of 1907 was a failure at its premiere since, in a world of overheated verismo passion and sordidness, Mancinelli (famous as a conductor at the Met around the turn of the 20th century) produced a beautifully chaste, classically pure opera sure to be seen as out-of-date at that time. The U.S. premiere was given in Miami in 2002 (presumably by at least some of the same forces on this recording). Italian-English libretto. Rosa Vento (soprano), Nicholas Perna (tenor), University of Miami Opera Theater Chorus, University of Miami Symphony Orchestra; Russell Young. Albany TROY 732 (U.S.A.) 05G054 $16.98

GEORGE WHITEFIELD CHADWICK (1854-1931): Symphony No. 2 in B Flat, Op. 21, Symphonic Sketches. First budget-price recording of the characterful 1886 symphony which, although possessing a pentatonic theme in its first movement which might suggest native American melos, could easily pass for a work by an established German composer. The Sketches, of course, are Chadwick's most recorded work and will be familiar to most collectors. National Radio Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine; Theodore Kuchar. Naxos American Classics 8.559213 (U.S.A.) 05G055 $6.98

ISAAC ALBÉNIZ (1860-1909): Iberia, La vega, Yvonne en visite!, Navarra (compl. William Bolcom [b.1938]), España: Souvenirs. In our obligatory offering of whatever new release this pianist produces, Hamelin tackles one of the most artistically and technically difficult works in the piano repertoire. Also included are Yvonne, a Satiesque representation of a young student having a hard time player for her teacher while her mother hovers (published in 1909 but of uncertain date) and La vega and España, both from 1897, at the beginning of what Albéniz called his "second manner", which was to culminate in Iberia. 2 CDs. Marc-André Hamelin (piano). Hyperion CDA 67476/7 (England) 05G056 $37.98

JENÖ HUBAY (1858-1937): Scènes de la Csárda for Violin and Orchestra: No. 2, Op. 13, No. 3, Op. 18, No. 4, Op. 32, No. 5, Op. 33, No. 7, Op. 41, No. 8, Op. 60, No. 12, Op. 83 & No. 14, Op. 117. Those of you collecting the Hungaroton series of Hubay's violin music as well as those collectors who prefer orchestral accompaniment will enjoy this 68 minute collection of eight of the famous Scénes de la Csárda, all but one of which were apparently orchestrated by Hubay himself (the notes aren't terribly clear on this but, as Hubay also wrote four symphonies, we can assume he was perfectly capable of doing it himself!). Free second disc of historical recordings of Hubay pieces by Franz von Vecsey, Jelly D'Aranyi, Ibolyka Zilzer, Ibolyka Gyárfás, Mary Zentay, Duci de Kerekjárto, Emil Telmányi and Joseph Szigeti. Charles Castleman (violin), Eastman Chamber Orchestra; Mendi Rodan. Music & Arts CD-1164(2) (U.S.A.) 05G057 $16.98

MARCO ENRICO BOSSI (1861-1925): Piano Trio in D Minor, Op. 107, Trio sinfonico, Op. 123. We are finally getting regular new recordings of repertoire by this third Italian of the Sgambati-Martucci, German-oriented group which favored instrumental over traditional Italian vocal composition. These trios date from 1896 and 1901, the latter justifying its title not only through its 41-minute length but also by its density of texture. A whiff of bel canto is heard during the Dialogo slow movement of the earlier trio but, otherwise, this is northern European late Romanticism at its ripest. Hungarian Piano Trio. Hungaroton HCD 32293 (Hungary) 05G058 $17.98

LUDWIG THUILLE (1861-1907): Cello Sonata, Op. 22, ESA-PEKKA SALONEN (b.1958): Cello Sonata, PAUL HINDEMITH (1895-1963): 3 leichte Stücke. The half-hour long Thuille (1902) is a powerfully original piece in which dark Romantic lyricism is spiced with harmonies which look ahead to the musical upheaval about to commence due to Schoenberg and others. Salonen may now reject this student work of 1976-7 but there's really nothing more modern to the lay ear than in the Hindemith piece which follows it; lasting 22:30, in the traditional three movements, it has much genuine lyricism in its slow outer movements with its final Aria paying homage to Messiaen's Quartet for the End of Time while its Andante central movement is broken at one point by a frenetic Bartókian dance. Well worth investigating, even for collectors looking only at the Thuille! Antony Cooke (cello), Armin Watkins (piano). Centaur CRC 2723 (U.S.A.) 05G059 $16.98

ENRIQUE FERNÁNDEZ ARBÓS (1863-1939): Vol. 1: Complete Chamber Works - 3 piezas originales en estilo español for Piano Trio, Op. 1, Tango for Violin and Piano, Op. 2, 6 rimas de Gustavo Adolfo Becquer for Tenor and Piano, Op. 3, 4 canciones para la marquesa de Bolaños for Tenor and Piano, Op. 4, Pieza de concurso for Cello and Piano. A brilliant violinist (first violin in both the Berlin Philharmonic and the Boston Symphony), Arbós wrote nothing after taking over the orchestra except the Pieza de concurso recorded here (1920). Opp. 1 and 2 are typical concert vehicles for violinistic display and are full of colorful Iberianisms while his songs range from the highly dramatic Spanish set to the French group which shows that the young composer must have appreciated Gounod and Fauré. Spanish/French texts. Trio Bellas Artes, Ara Malikian (violin), Serouj Kradjian (piano), Emilio Sánchez (tenor), Fernando Turina (piano), Rafael Ramos (cello), Miguel A. Ortega Chavaldas (piano). Verso VRS 2017 (Spain) 05G060 $18.98

FERRUCCIO BUSONI (1866-1924): Orchestral Works, Vol. 2 - Die Brautwahl, Op. 45, Indianische Fantasie for Piano and Orchestra, Op. 44, Gesang vom Reigen der Geister, Op. 47, Lustspiel-Ouvertüre, Op. 38. Although nothing here is unrecorded, it's all very under-recorded, especially the "Song of the Dance of the Spirits" (1915), based on a Pawnee mourning song (post-Wounded Knee) and which Busoni included among his group of orchestral Elegies. Nelson Goerner (piano), BBC Philharmonic; Neeme Järvi. Chandos 10302 (England) 05G061 $17.98

MAX REGER (1873-1916): 6 Burlesken, Op. 58, Variations und Fuge über ein Thema von Beethoven, Op. 86, 6 Stücke, Op. 94. The major work in this recital of rarely recorded piano duo music is the op. 94 set, whose serious mood and harmonic complexity drew the artists here to compare it to a late Beethoven string quartet. The bizarre humor of the Burlesken is at the other pole altogether! Duo d'Accord. Oehms Classics 353 (Germany) 05G062 $10.98

JÀNOS BOKSAY (1874-1940): Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom for Male Choir. Boksay was born in and was a priest in a part of sub-Carpathia which is today part of Ukraine. His 1921 setting of this liturgy (one of ten he produced) is interesting for its mixture of styles (German male chorus, Italianate drama and Slavic liturgical) and for the preservation of the Munkács Eparchy style of the priestly intonations. Old Church Slavonic (Cyrillic)-English texts. St. Ephraim Byzantine Male Choir; Tamás Bubnó. Hungaroton HCD 32315 (Hungary) 05G063 $17.98

THOMAS DUNHILL (1877-1946): Piano Quartet in B Minor, Op. 16, WILLIAM HURLSTONE (1876-1906): Piano Quartet in E Minor, Op. 43, ROGER QUILTER (1877-1953): Gipsy Life for String Quartet, Piano and Double Bass, ARNOLD BAX (1883-1953): Piano Quartet. This new release brings works by men of almost the same exact generation but who couldn't be more different in style. Dunhill's quartet (1903) is the most conservative work here, classical in style, Brahmsian in flavor and with a fairly level emotional temperature. Hurlstone (1898), on the other hand, is warmer and more musically audacious, with a touch of the Celtic sensibility of Bax present here and there for all that the language remains based on late Brahms. Quilter's rare instrumental piece comes from 1935, a five-minute cosmopolitan salon piece while Bax's 1922 single-movement quartet surpasses all of its discmates in only eleven minutes of volcanic emotion and experimental form. Primrose Piano Quartet, Celia Waterhouse (violin), Leon Bosch (double bass). Meridian CDE 84519 (England) 05G064 $17.98

ROGER QUILTER (1877-1953): Complete Folk-Song Arrangements, Complete Part-Songs for Women's Voices. Not a Collins Classics reissue, this is a brand-new recording, No. 11 in Naxos' "The English Song Series" and it brings together 23 items of English, French, Scottish and Welsh folk-song and 13 duets, part-songs and solos, of which, 21 are first recordings. These are conservative, elegant, refined settings which reflect the atmosphere of the Victorian drawing-room ballad. Texts included. Amanda Pitt (soprano), Joanne Thomas (mezzo), Philip Langridge (tenor), David Wilson-Johnson (baritone), David Owen Norris (piano). Naxos 8.557495 (New Zealand) 05G065 $6.98

FRANZ SCHREKER (1878-1934): Christophorus or Die Vision einer Oper. Completed in 1929, this opera was suppressed by the Nazis and not premiered until 1978. Representing a response to criticism during the mid 1920s, Schreker's musical language here has departed somewhat from the rich expressionism of earlier works in favor of neo-Baroque forms and Hindemithian counterpoint. The story, as usual, Schreker's own libretto, deals with a muisc student who must write a string quartet on the legend of St. Christopher, a subject which he feels he can only treat as an opera. Fact and fantasy intertwine as he begins losing control of his character. Still as gripping and intriguing as most any of his previous eight operas, Christophorus brings Schreker's recorded operatic oeuvre almost to completion. 2 CDs. German-English libretto. Susanne Bernhard (soprano), Hans Georg Ahrens (bass), Jörg Sabrowski (baritone), Robert Chafin (tenor), Kiel Opera Chorus and Philharmonic Orchestra; Ulrich Windfuhr. CPO 999 903 (Germany) 05G066 $31.98

CARLO DIACONO (1876-1942): Preghiera alla B.V. Maria, Laudate pueri, GIUSEPPE CARUANA (1880-1931): Tantum Ergo No. 1, DOMENICO ANASTASI (1886-1938): Dixit Dominus, LUIGI VELLA (1868-1950): Confitebor, FERDINANDO CAMILLERI (1859-1942): Symphony "Un raggio di luce", GIUSEPPE FARRUGIA (1852-1925): Hodie egressa est, PAUL NANI (1906-1986): Tantum Ergo, PAOLINO VASSALLO (1856-1923): Salve Regina. The second of a planned five-CD series of Sacred Music by Maltese Composers contains early 20th century pieces, full of conservative Italian influence, most of which could have been written in the middle of the 19th century. Even Camilleri's undated "symphony" - a four-section, 11-minute work in what is clearly sonata da chiesa form - could be an early 19th century Italian opera overture. Miriam Gauchi (soprano), Joseph Aquilina (tenor), Alfred Camilleri (baritone), Anthony Montebello (bass), Jubal Choir and Orchestra; Rev. John Galea. Gega GR 94 (Bulgaria) 05G067 $16.98

FRANK MARTIN (1890-1974): Golgotha. Written between 1945 and 1948, the timing and the mood of this oratorio cannot fail to be connected with the situation obtaining in a devastated Europe and, unlike the Passions of the 18th and 19th centuries, Martin addresses the listener directly, with direct emotional appeal. The prevailing atmosphere of the segments taken from the several New Testament accounts of the Passion is dark and oppressive; solo voices and chorus commentaries setting texts of St. Augustine provide oases of objective calm. This work is unmistakably one of the most powerful yet restrained settings of the Passion written in the 20th century. Live recording from April 1, 2004. 2 CDs. French-German texts. Barbara Locher (soprano), Liliane Zürcher (mezzo), Rolf Romei (tenor), René Koch (bass), Michel Brodard (bass-baritone), Kay Johannsen (organ), Solo Voices of the Lucerne Musikhochschule, Lucerne Boys' Choir, Akademiechor Luzern, Stiftskirche Kantorei Stuttgart, Berlin Symphony Orchestra; Alois Koch. Musiques Suisses MGB CD 6221 (Switzerland) 05G068 $37.98

ERNST KRENEK (1900-1991): Durch die Nacht, Op. 67 (Hanna Dóra Sturludóttir [soprano], Isabel Fernholz [piano]), Gesänge des späten Jahres, Op. 71 (Liat Himmelheber [mezzo], Axel Bauni [piano]). Both these song cycles were finished in 1931, the earlier and shorter to poems by Karl Kraus, the much longer one to Krenek's own unrhymed poems. Both deal with the dark night of the soul of the creative artist driven to doubt himself by a hostile and uncomprehending society (mirroring Krenek's increasing problems with the German right-wing). Using twelve-tone rows, free atonality, bitonality and occasional ironic and pointed references to the German lied of the 19th century, the composer both sets himself in a tradition while arguing for the present-day result of it which he embodies. German-English texts. Orfeo C 123 041 A (Germany) 05G069 $18.98

BENJAMIN BRITTEN (1913-1976): Piano Concerto, Op. 13 (incl. original third movement), Johnson over Jordan - Suite (arr. Paul Hindmarsh), Overture to Paul Bunyan (arr. Colin Matthews). Over a decade ago, these Collins recordings gave us a rare opportunity to hear the original, 1938, third movement of the concerto, subtitled "Recitative and Aria", which was replaced by an "Impromptu" in a 1945 revision (both third movements are recorded here). The overture to Paul Bunyan, from Britten's American years (1941), existed only in piano score until Colin Matthews orchestrated it in 1977 while, in 1990, Paul Hindmarsh put together a 15-minute suite from the music for a 1939 J.B. Priestly play. Joanna MacGregor (piano), English Chamber Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra; Steuart Bedford. Original 1990 and 1991 Collins Classics releases. Naxos 8.557197 (New Zealand) 05G070 $6.98

ERNST TOCH (1887-1964): Peter Pan (A Fairy Tale for Orchestra), Op. 76 (1960 - mono), Notturno, Op. 77 (1954 - mono), Miniature Overture (1969 - stereo), Jephta (Symphony No. 5) (1965 - stereo). Although we may not need a fifth or sixth version of Jeptha, the rest of this short (46 minutes) disc is well worth the mid-price cost. Peter Pan (1956) evokes a fairyland atmosphere which was influenced by a winter's stay at the MacDowell Colony in New Hampshire; the Notturno (1953) is a melancholy, nostalgic piece with a light, elfin center while the Miniature Overture (literally, at 2:27) is a souvenir of Toch's Hollywood years when scoring had to be concise, colorful and to the point! Louisville Orchestra; Robert Whitney, Jorge Mester. First Edition Music FECD-0035 (U.S.A.) 05G071 $12.98

Henze opera on DVD Video

HANS WERNER HENZE (b.1926): L'Upupa und der Triumph der Sohnesliebe. Based on an Arab tale, this story of a "good son" who goes off in search of a lost hoopoe, aided along the way by a comic demon, has elements of a post-modern Magic Flute. Henze is in quite approachable mode here and, it must be said, watching characters on stage helps the music blend into the whole apprehending experience. Lasting 143 minutes, the DVD is cheaper than a corresponding CD-only release would be these days! Filmed at the premiere, Salzburg Festival 2003. English subtitles. Laura Aikin (soprano), John Mark Ainsley (tenor), Matthias Goerne (baritone), Vienna State Opera Choir, Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra; Markus Stenz. EuroArts DVD Video 2053929 (Germany) 05G072 $29.98

SULKHAN NASIDZE (1927-1996): Chamber Symphony No. 3, SULKHAN TSINTSADZE (1925-1991): 9 Miniatures for String Orchestra, IGOR LOBODA (b.1956): Concert Ballade for Violin, Cello and Chamber Orchestra. They may not be the Georgian composers many of you are still looking for on CD and they may not be full-fledged symphonies, but all three works here are definitely worth having for collectors of former Soviet republic composers. Tsintsadze's Miniatures are mostly based on or transcriptions of Georgian folk music and are the most simply appealing while Nasidze, while using folk tonalities and providing rich tone color, also uses more modern harmonies to bracing effect. Loboda's 30-minute work is in four movements and uses this classical form to contain tonal music of a certain conservatism (nothing here that would have troubled Soviet censors) and pan-Europan quality which will appeal to collectors of contemporary music who don't need overt folk references. Corinne Chapelle (violin), Alexander Suleiman (cello), Georgian Chamber Orchestra Ingolstadt; Markus Poschner. Guild GMCD 7279 (England) 05G073 $16.98

KOMITAS (1869-1935): Three Dances, ARAM KHACHATURIAN (1903-1978): Toccata, ROBERT ANDREASIAN (1913-1986): 5 Komitas Songs, GEORGI SARADIAN (1919-1986): Komitas Song, ALEXANDER ARUTIUNIAN (b.1920): Evening in Ararat Valley, Soldiers' Dance, ARNO BABADJANIAN (1921-1983): 6 Pictures, Vagarshapat Dance, EDUARD MIRZOYAN (b.1921): Poem, RUBEN SARGSIAN (b.1945): Reverence to Komitas. Almost a century of Armenian piano music is represented here with half of the names above familiar to seasoned collectors and the other half probably unknown. The strength of Komitas' influence on posterity is evident in Andreasian's and Saradian's settings of some of his songs while Arutiunian, Babadjanian and Mirzoyan integrate Russian Romanticism and more modern techniques into the Armenian folk melos. Sargsian finishes up with a kind of Tombeau à Komitas with echoes of Ravelian polyharmonies contributing to an ethereal, fragile sound picture. Sona Shaboyan (piano). Oehms Classics OC 374 (Germany) 05G074 $10.98

KURT SCHWERTSIK (b.1935): Sinfonia-Sinfonietta, Op. 73, Violin Concerto No. 2 "Albayzin & Sacromonte", Op. 81, Schrumpf-Symphonie, Op. 80, Goldlöckchen, Op. 74 for Speaker and Orchestra. Kind of like an older, more intellectual, European version of Michael Daugherty, Schwertsik has a lot of fun with his music which is full of irony and humor and which is extremely approachable and enjoyable to listen to. His inspirations are more abstract than say, Daugherty's Metropolis Symphony or Tombeau à Liberace, but they are no less full of fun and wit. Schwertsik's own German rendering of Roald Dahl's version of the fairy tale from his "Revolting Rhymes" is the longest piece here at 33 minutes but listeners need to be assured that there is plenty of music to hear between the German rhymes, the whole thing sounding not unlike a Prokofiev ballet. The concerto (2000) is a romantically-tinged response to the two quarters of the Spanish city of Grenada which give the work its sub-title; the Sinfonia-Sinfonietta consists of five short character pieces whose general affect is adumbrated by the composer in the notes while the Schrumpf symphony is a humorous four-movement work lasting less than six minutes. Mid-price. Christian Altenburger (violin), Kurt Schwertsik (speaker), Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra; Dennis Russell Davies, Kurt Schwertsik (Goldlöckchen). Oehms Classics OC 342 (Germany) 05G075 $10.98

PAUL MORAVEC (b.1957): Tempest Fantasy for Clarinet and Piano Trio, For Piano Trio: Mood Swings, Scherzo, B.A.S.S. Variations. You are going to enjoy this disc. This is not an ironic statement - the music is just so finely crafted, so eloquent, so - so damned satisfying - that you would have to be a miserable specimen not to respond positively to it. Grounded firmly in tonality, which is employed with considerable inventiveness yet without trespassing too close to its boundaries, the music has a rhythmic vitality and irrepressible energy that is most engaging. Despite an impassioned and endearingly partisan booklet note, which contains a number of unnecessary side-swipes (of the 'my composer is bigger than your composer' type) at other leading musicians of our time, including Elliott Carter, which weakens the argument considerably, it is not unfair to suggest that there may be other music of greater profundity, adventurousness and individuality available to the curious listener. Having said which, it is unusual to encounter a contemporary composer who so consistently succeeds in communicating exactly what he sets out to in music of immediate appeal that seems in no danger of sounding stale on repetition. So go ahead, contemporary music-lover; this is as close to a satisfaction-guaranteed warranty as you are going to get. Trio Solisti, David Krakauer (clarinet). Arabesque Z6791 (U.S.A.) 05G076 $16.98

CARLOS SURINACH (1915-1997): Melorhythmic Dramas (1967 - stereo), Symphonic Variations (1965 - stereo), Sinfonietta Flamenca (1954 - mono), Feria Magica Overture (1956 - mono). Imbued throughout with the rhythm of the dance and, especially, the flamboyance and passion of the flamenco, Surinach's music will have broad appeal for anyone interested in 20th century orchestral repertoire. The fact that he is almost completely ignored these days is astonishing when one listens to these colorful, urgently communicative scores which, although covering a period from 1950 to 1966, have stylistic consistency without any sign of stagnation. Louisville Orchestra; Robert Whitney, Jorge Mester. First Edition Music FCD-0039 (U.S.A.) 05G077 $12.98

EINOJUHANI RAUTAVAARA (b.1928): Clarinet Concerto, Garden of Spaces, Cantus Arcticus. Garden of Spaces is effectively a world premiere, as all performances will be, as it consists of precisely notated sections which may be performed in various combinations at the discretion of the conductor. This performance is thus a collaborative effort with Segerstam, himself a composer of distinction who has often made use of similar controlled aleatory in his music. The spirit of Sibelius looms very large behind Rautavaara's darkly brooding material, and the piece as a whole emerges as a kind of spiritual successor to Tapiola. The concerto occupies a similarly rugged landscape, though the drama is here tempered by the richly eloquent lyricism of the solo writing, especially in the gloriously songful, melancholy slow movement. Cantus Arcticus with its recorded birdsong, is in danger of becoming a 'popular' piece of contemporary music - but it deserves to, as it achieves its atmospheric ends without ever descending into gimmickry - and it must be said that the interplay of recorded birds and exquisitely sensitive orchestral textures is especially finely achieved in this recording. Richard Stoltzman (clarinet), Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra; Leif Segerstam. Ondine ODE 1041-2 (Finland) 05G078 $17.98

LEONARD BERNSTEIN (1918-1990): Violin Sonata, BELA BARTÓK (1881-1945): Violin Sonata No. 1, MAURICE RAVEL (1875-1937): Violin Sonata (1897). A great idea, this, bringing together three of the 20th century's most influential composers via early violin sonatas, all written when they were still at their respective conservatories. Not suprisingly, the works show the influence of whoever the composers felt most strongly about at that time: Bernstein's 1939 sonata suggests Copland and Hindemith along with jazz and popular music; Ravel's single-movement work of 1897 recalls Fauré and Franck and Bartók (1903) Brahms, Richard Strauss and Debussy. Reine-Brigitte Sulem (violin), Márta Gulyás (piano). Centaur CRC 2703 (U.S.A.) 05G079 $16.98

JEAN FRANÇAIX (1912-1997): Divertimento, JINDRICH FELD (b.1925): Sonata, JEAN-MICHEL DAMASE (b.1928): Rhapsodie, JULES MOUQUET (1868-1946): La flûte de Pan, ERNÓ DOHNÁNYI (1877-1960): Aria, LOWELL LIEBERMANN (b.1961): Sonata. Aside from yet another recording of Liebermann's sonata, the major works here are Feld's 1957 sonata, in neo-classical, slightly Bartókian style, and the little-known Mouquet's triptych. No dates are available for this work with its beguiling mixture of Romanticism and Impressionism in its paintings of Pan with, respectively, shepherds, birds and nymphs. Françaix is firmly in feel-good, melodic miniature mode in his five-section work of 1953 and Damase's 1992 Rhapsody is not far removed from the same style. Dóra Seres (flute), Emese Mali (piano). Hungaroton HCD 32299 (Hungary) 05G080 $17.98

BORIS TCHAIKOVSKY (1925-1996): Edition, Vol. 2 - Piano Sonatas Nos. 1 and 2, 8 Pieces for Children, Pentatonica, Natural Modes, Sonatina. The first sonata and sonatina (1944 and 1946) are bright, brittle works fully in the style of Prokofiev and Shostakovich. The second sonata (1952) adds a warmer, more emotionally sensitive voice in music which often recalls the vocal style of writing of Mussorgsky while the remaining three suites of short pieces (1952 and, for the latter two, both 1993) are finely-chiseled, clear-eyed and timeless depictions of childhood and natural phenomena. Very approachable, attractive music likely to have very wide appeal. Olga Solovieva (piano). Albany TROY 749 (U.S.A.) 05G081 $16.98

EASLEY BLACKWOOD (b.1933): Viola Sonata No. 1, Op. 1, Viola Sonata No. 2, Op. 43, Violin Sonata No. 1, Op. 7, Piano Trio, Op. 22. This noted pianist/composer wrote in atonal styles for much of his career before returning to tonality in the 1980s. The 2001 second viola sonata here is quite approachable and conservative in style, having been commissioned by a violist who suggested the idioms of Bartók andProkofiev as a starting point The first viola sonata, from 1953, and the violin sonata (1960) suggest the atonal languages of Berg and Schoenberg with some Hindemith present also while the trio of 1968 is in the Darmstadt '60s style of polyrhythmic atonality a la, perhaps, Elliott Carter. Easley Blackwood (piano), Charles Pikler (violin, viola), Gary Stucka (cello). Cedille CDR 90000 081 (U.S.A.) 05G082 $16.98

LEON KIRCHNER (b.1919): Duo for Violin and Piano, Piano Trio, Piano Sonata, Triptych for Violin and Cello, Flutings for Flute. Another rugged American individualist, Kirchner's freely tonal, rhapsodic works range widely both emotionally and psychologically. Works, usually in single-movement form, evolve out of single ideas and Kirchner's questing, probing intellect pushes and follows them until he is satisfied that the journey has been productive. More non-easy listening from this valuable American chamber group. Continuum. Original 1983 and 1992 MHS recordings. Naxos American Classics 8.559195 (U.S.A.) 05G083 $6.98

ANTHONY HEDGES (b.1931): Piano Sonata, Op. 53, 3 Explorations, Op. 145, 5 Aphorisms, Op. 113, RONALD STEVENSON (b.1928): 2 Chinese Folk-Songs for Piano Duet, KENNETH LEIGHTON (1929-1988): Prelude, Hymn and Toccata for 2 Pianos, Op. 96, GUSTAV HOLST (1874-1934): Japanese Suite for 2 Pianos, Op. 33 (arr. Vally Lasker [1885-1978]). The largest and most impressive work here is the Leighton, which frames an extended, meditative slow movement between a stately overture and a dynamic finale which disconcertingly seems unsure whether it owes its allegiance to Messiaen's ecstatic celestial dances or more secular dance forms. The three solo works by Hedges belong to the spikier, more serious end of this versatile composer's output. This is not to suggest that there is anything atonal about these concentrated and incisive works, harmonically ambiguous to be sure, but firmly rooted in tonality. In this respect they have more than a little in common with Ronald Stevenson's music, represented here by two brief and ingenious Chinese folk-song transcriptions. Holst's Japanese Suite, in this version (which seems to have been assembled by one of his various female amanuenses) is remarkably attractive and instantly appealing. Goldstone & Clemmow (soloists, duet and two pianos). Divine Art 25024 (England) 05G084 $16.98

SUNLEIF RASMUSSEN (b.1961): Symphony No. 1 "Oceanic Days", Saxophone Concerto "Dem Licht entgegen". Rasmussen is apparently 'the first and so far the only conservatory-trained Faroese composer'. This would be nothing more than a socio-geographical oddity if his music did not exhibit some qualities marking it out as worthy of attention and reflecting the originality of its personal and national origins. It has both. As one might perhaps anticipate, there is a great deal of 'nature-music' feeling to be found here, especially in the evocatively-titled symphony, with its brooding, dark-hued textures redolent of the untamed mystery of arctic waters. Elements of melodic structures derived from Faroese folk music are detectable in some unfamiliar modalities and timbres (especially in odd and telling passages of ethereal vocalisation by the orchestra in the symphony's finale and the concerto's second movement). The saxophone concerrto is more concentrated and economical, but similiarly wild and elemental in content and no less original or powerful in its evocation of an untamed landscape. Jeanette Balland (sax), Danish National Symphony Orchestra/DR; Hannu Lintu. SACD Hybrid Disc. Dacapo 6.22056 (Denmark) 05G085 $15.98

CHRISTIAN LINDBERG (b.1958): Helikon Wasp for Conducting Trombonist and Orchestra, The World of Montuagretta for Flute and Chamber Orchestra, Behac Munroh for Trumpet, Trombone and Orchestra, ...ty solen är uppe! for Trombone and Male Choir, Condor Canyon for Trombone and Brass Quintet. Lindberg as a performer is about improbable virtuosity, eccentric stage manner, effervescent humor coupled to consummate professional artistry. That's what he's like as composer and essayist as well. None of the music is in any sense 'difficult' - for the listener that is; for his soloists, whether himself or the flute player in the evocative and picturesque 'World', it's a different matter; his language is resolutely tonal, his rhythmic sense lively, his ear for timbre clear and astute. The lightness of touch that pervades all these works, even the relatively serious ...ty solen and the flute work, tempers the dazzling virtuosity of the solo writing with instant accessibility and sense of fun that defies you not to enjoy them. Christian Lindberg (trombone), Sharon Bezaly (flute), Ole Edvard Antonsen (trumpet), São Paulo Symphony Orchestra, Swedish Chamber Orchestra; Christian Lindberg, Basque National Orchestra; Cristian Mandeal, Stockholm Chamber Brass, Orphei Drängar. BIS CD-1428 (Sweden) 05G086 $17.98

GE GAN-RU (b.1954): Wu for Piano and Orchestra, Chinese Rhapsody, 6 Pentatonic Tunes for Orchestra. The aspects of Chinese music that are most notably embraced by Ge in his writing for western instrumental forces are a reduced emphasis on precise pitch, and a complex, improvisatory sense of rhythm. This fits very closely into western avant-gardism of the past few decades, and on encountering passages in these works written in this fashion - all rustling strings and exotic, unpitched percussion - one might be forgiven for thinking that Ge can be classified conveniently as a Darmstadt-type avant-gardiste with oriental antecedents. So it comes as a bit of a shock when he seamlessly integrates material of post-impressionist lushness and Romantic warmth - you will hear intriguing echoes of Debussy, even Khachaturian, woven into the texture. In Wu the piano is treated according to any number of prepared and alternative methods, which relate it to Ge's emphasis on timbre and freedom from conventional pitch relationships. The Pentatonic Tunes oddly suggest a western post-impressionist composer's response to the exotic whole-tone scale, in a consistently richly harmonised and colorfully scored style without much modernism of any sort about it. Margaret Leng Tan (piano), Royal Scottish National Orchestra; José Serebrier. SACD Hybrid disc. BIS SACD-1509 (Sweden) 05G087 $17.98

GRAEME KOEHNE (b.1956): Inflight Entertainment for Amplified Oboe and Orchestra, Powerhouse, Unchained Melody, Elevator Music. I hate to use the a comparandum twice in the same catalogue but, unavoidably, up pops Michael Daugherty again. This time the two composers share both similar age and having been brought up in late 20th century American pop culture so the fact that Koehne writes symphonic music influenced by cartoon scores (the spirit of Raymond Scott's Bugs Bunny soundtracks is evoked in Powerhouse), film scores (Inflight Entertainment's first movement, "Agent Provocateur" is all John Barry James Bond score while Elevator Music's inspirations include Barry, Henry Mancini and Les Baxter), 50's pop tunes and easy-listening music. So, here's to Koehne's "retro post-modernism" with its luscious tunes and rich, imaginative orchestration! Sydney Symphony; Takuo Yuasa. Naxos 8.555847 (New Zealand) 05G088 $6.98

PETER MAXWELL DAVIES (b.1934): Naxos Quartets Nos. 3 & 4. That Maxwell Davies writes very complex music is a statement which will come as no surprise to anyone looking to continue this series of ten quartets sponsored by Naxos, so suffice it to say that a very high-flown and technically complex plan for the third quartet was blown away by the composer's anger at the invasion of Iraq in 2003 which produced a spontaneous and deeply felt reaction in the four-movement, 31-minute piece. The fourth quartet revisits the same Brueghel painting which inspired Maxwell Davies' Strathclyde Concerto No. 6 and is a far lighter piece in mood although hardly simple in language. Maggini Quartet. Naxos 8.557397 (New Zealand) 05G089 $6.98

LUKAS FOSS (b.1922): Song of Anguish for Baritone and Orchestra (James Maddalena [baritone], Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra; Gerard Schwarz), Elegy for Anne Frank for Piano and Orchestra (Kevin McCutcheon [piano], BRSO; Christopher Wilkins), Lammdeni for Chorus and Percussion (Laudibus, percussion ensemble; Michael Brewer), Adon Olam for Tenor, Chorus and Organ (Mark Wilde [tenor], Laudibus, Christopher Bowers-Broadbent [organ]), ROBERT BEASER (b.1954): The Heavenly Feast for Soprano and Orchestra (Constance Hauman [soprano], Seattle Symphony; Gerard Schwarz). Two cantatas are the major works here, Foss' from 1950 setting texts from Isaiah in his finest completely tonal style, and Beaser's from 1994 which sets poetry about Simone Weil and her bizarre death from self-starvation. It also is tonal and immediately communicative. There are 26 pages of notes which go well beyond the music into the historical, philosophical and textual elements of the works included here. Texts included. Naxos Milken Archive 8.559438 (U.S.A.) 05G090 $6.98

ALFREDO ARACIL (b.1954): Adagio con variaciones (Orquesta Sinfónica de Tenerife; Victor Pablo Pérez), 3 imágenes de Francesca (RTVE Symphony Orchestra; José Luis Temes), Las voces de los ecos for Mezzo-Soprano and Orchestra (Ameral Gunson [mezzo], Orquesta Filarmónica de Gran Canaria; José Ramón Encinar). Taking its theme from Wolf's quartet, and developing it in music of Wagnerian luxuriance, the Variations represent the best kind of neo-Romanticism - which is to say, music with an innate sense of timeless Romanticism, without being self-consciously neo-anything. Even as the tension builds and the treatment of the material moves further away from the Wolf original, the work never loses its brooding intensity, at times oddly reminiscent of Pettersson (though not really sounding much like him). Tension and drama are also present throughout the three Images, which alludes to Dante's 'Inferno'. Here the slow-moving, brooding score spends more time sounding 'modern', but nonetheless, a sense of tonality is omnipresent, and the somber and affecting melancholy of the music recalls Elgar in the bleakest moments of his slow movements. Las voces sets texts from Milton's 'Paradise Lost', against a dark-hued backdrop; here the best comparison is the tradition of Mahler via Berg to the present day; a pervasive melancholy which would have been immediately embraced by the Romantic imagination. col legno WWE 1CD 20020 (Germany) 05G091 $19.98

UDO ZIMMERMANN (b.1943): Pax questuosa for Solo Voices, 3 Chamber Choruses and Orchestra. "The Lamenting Peace" is an impassioned prayer for peace, employing texts by St. Francis of Assisi and various contemporary poets, as well as snatches of liturgical and biblical texts. Musically, the language lies somewhere between Shostakovich and Orff - or more accurately, alternates between elements of both, with more avant-garde textures generally relegated to the establishment of brooding or stormy backdrops to the main action. The work is dramatic and extrovert, more in the nature of a dramatic cantata than a solemn work of liturgical devotion, and the spatial effects and percussive gestures lend the piece an unquiet, protesting approach, demanding peace rather than pleading for it. Edith Wiens, Mechthild Gessendorf (sopranos), William Cochran (tenor), Roland Hermann (baritone), Siegmund Nimsgern (bass), Bavarian Radio Choir and Symphony Orchestra; Udo Zimmermann. col legno WWE 1CD 20085 (Germany) 05G092 $19.98

ANTONIO PINHO VARGAS (b.1951): Monodia - quasi un requiem, JOÃO PEDRO OLIVEIRA (b.1959): Peregrinação, ALEXANDRE DELGADO (b.1965): String Quartet, LUÍS TINOCO (b.1969): String Quartet, EUGÉNIO MANUEL RODRIGUES (b.1961): Mata Hari. These works cover quite a wide range of ground, though all of it within what one might describe as customary Arditti territory. The most conventional writing is to be found in Delgado's and Rodrigues' engaging works, with incisive, clear rhythmic structures and very little in the way of extended instrumental techniques aside from extended passages of col legno writing in the Delgado and some vocalisations in the Rodrigues. Rodrigues' piece has clear references to folk music; by and large the other works do not. Vargas' intense Monodia is especially interesting, creating a close-knit yet transparent texture, suggesting a pared-down and economical Ligeti or Penderecki. Both Tinoco and Oliveira use extremes of dynamic and register (Oliveira's insistent use of harmonics creates some highly unusual and evocative textures) to extend the expessive qualities of the quartet medium while remaining true to the homogeneous and concentrated nature of the ensemble, always one of its greatest strengths in presenting closely-argued musical dialectic. Arditti Quartet. Etcetera KTC 1242 (Netherlands) 05G093 $17.98

JONATHAN HARVEY (b.1939): Curve with Plateaux for Solo Cello, Advaya for Cello, Digital Keyboard and Electronics, ARNE DEFORCE (b.1962): Limen for Solo Cello, Riti for Solo Cello. Two 'composed improvisations' by Deforce, and two works by Harvey that represent a kind of improvisatory rhapsodic meditation on spirituality expressed through the sonic medium, these works extend the vocabulary of the 'cello without ever sounding as though they are written 'against' the instrument. Harvey has often made use of electronics for the liberating effects that they can produce in detaching the listener from conventions, and Advaya, the only work on the disc that uses electronics, is a particularly successful example. Throughout the disc, a preoccupation with timbral novelty having much in common with the 'spectral' approach to composition produces an eerie, dreamlike quality, in which one seems to be set adrift in an alien space without the comfort of familiar ground from which to navigate. Even though there is no question that one is listening to a 'cello, the effect is of some strange, primeval ritual, owing little to the musical conventions of civilisation. Arne Deforce (cello), Yutaka Oya (keyboard), Jonathan Harvey and CRFMW (electronics). Megadisc MDC 7806 (Belgium) 05G094 $17.98

ALEXANDROS MARKEAS (b.1965): Taximi for Bouzouki and Electronics, 5 souvenirs involontaires for Viola and Cello, Dimotika for Mezzo-Soprano, 7 Musicians and Children's Choir. By the composer's own admission, the model for Dimotika is Berio's Folk Songs of 1963-64, which consists of literal arrangements of folk material (here from Markeas' native Greece) enclosed in a diverse web of instrumental textures. Both in the Berio and here, the result is a paradoxically successful form of transcription in which the peasant music of the originals is presented with disarming rusticity while being clearly separated from the conventions of the concert hall by the very sophistication of the modern framework with which it is surrounded. The five brief movements of souvenirs and the electroacoustically transmuted textures of the folk-instrument at the centre of Taximi also examine the role of memory and archetype in the perception of art, in music that is at once dynamic and viscerally invloving and intellectually challenging. Florentino Calvo (bouzouki), Alain Tresallet (viola), Isabelle Veyrier (cello), Isabel Soccoja (mezzo), Poitiers Children's Choir, La Maîtrise Boréale, Ars Nova; Philippe Nahon. L'Empreinte Digitale ED 13206 (France) 05G095 $17.98

BRUNO MADERNA (1920-1973): Don Perlimplin, Serenata per un Satellite. Lorca's little domestic tragedy of chamber-music scaled betrayal and loss was finely adapted into a radio play by Madena in 1961, with the unusual (though not unprecedented) device of a central character portrayed by an instrumentalist (Don Perlimplin, a flute). An eclectic piece of music-theatre, drawing on musical conventions as diverse as jazz and blues, ragtime and electronics, speech and sprechstimme, the work achieves an unusual synthesis of avant-garde principles and quasi-unsophisticated popular theatre which heightens the dreamlike unreality of the drama, while rendering it surprisingly touching and emotionally direct. Italian-English texts. Roberto Fabbricini (flute), Contempoartensemble; Mauro Ceccanti. Arts 47629-2 (Germany) 05G096 $12.98

ANTHONY GILBERT (b.1934): On Beholding a Rainbow for Violin and Orchestra (Anthony Marwood [violin], Royal Northern College of Music Symphony Orchestra; Garry Walker), Certain Lights Reflecting for Mezzo-Soprano and Orchestra (Susan Bickley [mezzo], BBC Symphony Orchestra; Andrew Davis), Unrise for Wind Ensemble, ...Into the Gyre of a Madder Dance for Wind Ensemble (Royal Northern College of Music Wind Ensemble; Clark Rundell). Drawing on a wide range of influences as diverse as the landscape and nature of Australia, traditional forms in Western classical music (and by extension, the newer formal structures that arise from dodecaphny) and the classical music of India, Anthony Gilbert has enjoyed a long and distinguished career as composer and pedagogue. His use of forms such as fugue, passacaglia and variations lends his work a precision and symmetry, leavened by a fantastical element introduced by his frequent allusions to birds - both singing and flying; the one providing a freedom from obvious pitch- and metrical relationships: the other suggesting an airborne lightness and unpredictability, leaving one always guessing at the direction the music will take next. T hese finely-crafted compositions are sure to satisfy a wide audience of contemporary music enthusiasts looking for something fresh, unexpected and difficult to classify. NMC D105 (England) 05G097 $17.98

GEOFFREY POOLE (b.1949): Lucifer, NICHOLAS SACKMAN (b.1950): Meld, DIANA BURRELL (b.1948): Gold. These works resulted from a project instigated by Philip Mead to enlarge the repertoire for brass ensemble and piano (a former trumpet player, Mead is surely the only performer to have in his repertoire both parts of the Maxwell Davies Trumpet Sonata, which if nothing else uniquely qualifies him for an enterprise of this kind). Sackman's Meld is the most piano-concerto-like work here, establishing a lively dialogue between mercurial piano textures and impressive blocks of sound from a varied ensemble of brass and percussion. Burrell's Gold glitters and sparkles appropriately, exploring the higher registers of the instruments in an open-textured, geometrically precise yet rhythmically free asemblage of glittering, crystalline shapes. Poole's Lucifer is not intended to be taken terribly seriously - an entertainment, incorporating all manner of allusions to popular culture (including the conventions of 'scary' film music), all assembled with a keen ear for polyrhythmic complexity and structural rigour underpinning an essentially approachable tonal idiom. Philip Mead (piano), Royal Northern College of Music Brass Ensemble; James Gourlay. NMC D 099 (England) 05G098 $17.98

RYTIS MAZULIS (b.1961): Ajapajapam for Chorus and String Quartet, Solo Chorus: Canon Solus, Sybilla, Cum essem parvulus. Anyone even remotely interested in the practical realisation of microtonal techniques as an expressive musical force should have no hesitation in acquring this disc. Both the composer and his astonishing performers heard here must have the most exquisitely attuned ears to the possibilities generated by dividing a semitone into smaller - sometimes much smaller - subdivisions. Opening the disc with Canon Solus is intriguing, because in this five-minute work the composer clearly demonstrates the origins of his inspiration in the mystical precision of Reniassance polyphony. Immediately on encountering the other works one is plunged into a sound-world of disconcerting strangeness which paradoxically evokes the same abandonment of the self in religious contemplation of its ancestors while sounding nothing remotely like any earlier music. The astonishing 36-minute Ajapajapam, using electronics further to extend the timbral palette, moves through an imperceptible progression of indescribably complex shifting clusters, achieving a suspension of time more potent than any other examples from the avant-garde of the past 50 years that come to mind. Latvian Radio Chamber Singers, Chordos Quartet. Megadisc MDC 7810 (Belgium) 05G099 $17.98

ALEXANDER KNAIFEL (b.1943): Agnus Dei for Keyboards, Percussion, Electronics, Saxophones and Double Bass. Calling a work Agnus Dei and prefacing it with texts concerning the manifold tragedies experienced by the citizens of Leningrad during the Naxi siege, might lead one to expect an emotionally wrenching choral work, a war requiem or threnody in neo-Romantic mold. Knaifel defies any such expectations, with a two-hour, purely instrumental composition of extreme subtlety and abstraction. Four instrumentalists play a variety of instruments, including electronics, 'prepared' instruments and extended techniques, in music whose understated, whispering textures have very little to do with conventional music, even the most avant garde and experimental effusions of our time. Even without knowing the subtext of the work, one is constantly aware of an uncomfortable, even harrowing, depiction of human suffering and mortality, expressed through suggestions of lamenting, distorted bell-sounds and quasi-onomatopic allusions to glacial stillness, numbing cold and calm despair. Not an easy work to listen to, it ultimately paints a more emotionally draining picture than any amount of Romantic histrionics could achieve. 2 CDs. Ensemble Musiques Nouvelles. Megadisc MDC 7808/07 (Belgium) 05G100 $35.98

STANLEY BLACK (1913-2002): Music from the Films Battle of the Sexes, Sands of the Desert, Stormy Crossing, Blood of the Vampire, Jack the Ripper, Three Steps to the Gallows and The Young Ones. Black scored over 200 films, not many of them immortal works of art, which is the theme of this issue: excellent film scoring can make films better than they would be without it. Except for the 1960 comedy Battle of the Sexes, these are all "genre" films, two film noirs, two horror films, a comedy and a youth picture and Black provides just what they needed. Horror fans will find a lot to like in the vampire and Ripper scores. BBC Concert Orchestra; Barry Wordsworth. Chandos 10306 (England) 05G101 $17.98

MAX DEUTSCH (1892-1982): Der Schatz: A Film Symphony in 5 Acts. Der Schatz was the great German silent film-maker G.W. Pabst's first effort. Since music for the film needed to be continuous, Deutsch had to write over an hour's worth of music. Later, he made a concert version in five movements (each self-contained although motifs describing characters do reappear throughout), in this recording lasting 74 minutes. This latter version, in some disrepair, has been reconstructed by the conductor on this recording. Although, at the time he wrote this score (1924), Deutsch was devoting himself to studying the musical techniques of his teacher Schoenberg, he wrote a tonal score is in the dialect of late Romanticism (almost as if Richard Strauss and Mahler had cooperated on a film score). Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz; Frank Strobel. CPO 999 925 (Germany) 05G102 $15.98

LEO TOLSTOY (1828-1910): Waltz in F, ALEXANDER GRIBOYEDOV (1795-1829): Waltzes in A Flat and E Minor, BORIS PASTERNAK (1890-1960): Preludes in E Flat Minor and G Sharp Minor, Sonata, VLADIMIR ODOYEVSKY (1804-1869): Sentimental Waltz, Canon, Lullaby, Waltz in G Minor, VASILY POLENOV (1844-1927): Farewell Song, Bariton and Piano: My Soul is Dark, To the Sea, PAVEL FEDOTOV (1815-1852): My Darling and The Little Cuckoo for Baritone and Piano, SERGEI DIAGHILEV (1872-1929): Do you remember, Maria? for Baritone and Piano, GEORGE BALANCHINE (1904-1983): Valse lente. Music by people whose primary careers weren't in music (Gribodeyov was a playwright and diplomat, Polenov and Fedotov painters and Odoyevsky helped found the Moscow and St. Petersburg Conservatories and the Russian Musical Society): Pasternak's 1909 sonata, quite Scriabinesque (as is the G sharp minor Prelude), is the largest-scale piece here, running just past 13 minutes in length. The majority of the remainder are salon-style piano pieces and songs, with Polenov's unabashedly Romantic pair the most striking. Russian (Cyrillic)-English texts. Chiyuki Urano (baritone), Lera Auerbach (piano). BIS CD-1502 (Sweden) 05G103 $17.98

EDOUARD LALO (1823-1892): Le Roi d'Ys. This 1888 work, set in legendary Brittany, is one of the finest nationalist works to come out of France in the 19th century (with real Breton folk songs in the choruses too). 2 CDs. Andréa Guiot (soprano), Jane Rhodes (mezzo), Alain Vanzo (tenor), Robert Massard (baritone), Jules Bastin (bass), Radio-Lyrique Chorus and Orchestra; Pierre Dervaux (19/10/73 - stereo). Gala GL 100.599 (Italy) 05G104 $10.98

KARL GOLDMARK (1830-1915): Die Königin von Saba. This great spectacle showed its composer indebted to both Meyerbeer and Wagner while Goldmark himself produces plenty of memorable melody and orchestral color. Includes 60 minutes of excerpts of Die Königin recorded in Vienna between 1903-09 (but with the same cast members). 3 CDs. Alpha Floyd (mezzo), Teresa Kubiak (soprano), Arley Reece (tenor), American Opera Chorus and Orchestra; Reynald Giovaninetti (3/26/70 - mono). Gala GL 100.620 (Italy) 05G105 $16.98

UMBERTO GIORDANO (1867-1948): La cena delle beffe. The composer's penultimate opera (1924) still ends in murder and madness but the music is more refined than in his earlier verismo operas. 2 CDs. Gigliola Frazzoni (soprano), Antonio Annaloro (tenor), Anselmo Colzani (baritone), RAI Milan Symphony Orchestra; Oliviero De Fabritiis (1955). Myto 052.H103 (Italy) 05G106 $21.98

PHILIP GLASS (b.1937): Les Enfants Terribles. The final installment of Glass' trilogy based on Cocteau, articulating the latter's belief in the transcendent power of imagination and creativity. French-English libretto. 2 CDs for the price of 1. Christine Arand (soprano), Hal Cazalet (tenor), Valerie Komar (mezzo), Philip Cutlip (bass-baritone), Philip Glass, Nelson Padgett, Eleanor Sandresky (keyboards). Orange Mountain Music OMM 0019 (U.S.A.) 05G107 $18.98