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A Double Dip of

Danish Romanticism

CARL HELSTED (1818-1904): Symphony No. 1 in D, Overture in D Minor, GUSTAV HELSTED (1857-1924): Cello Concerto in C, Op. 35, Romanze for Violin and Orchestra. Carl Helsted's 1841 symphony and overture are even more remarkable for their emotional and formal kinship to Schumann since, at the time of their composition, Schumann had only produced his first symphony and it is extremely unlikely that Helsted had had a chance to hear it. Gade is another comparison (and probably the reason Carl gave up composing rather early in his life. Gustav was partial to surprising modulations which follow each other in rapid succession, which gives much of his music a feeling of nervousness; the 1919 concerto is quite late-Romantic in language and character, ignoring the revolutionary events going on in music at that time while the 1888 Romance is a brief, four-minute work in the style of such pieces by Dvorák and Svendsen. Henrik Dam Thomsen (cello), Karsten Dalsgaard Madsen (violin), Danish Philharmonic Orchestra, South Jutland; Giordano Bellincampi. Danacord DACOCD 537 (Denmark) 11D001 $16.98

AUGUST WINDING (1835-1899): Piano Concerto in A Minor, Op. 19, Concert Allegro for Piano and Orchestra, Op. 29, EMIL HARTMANN (1836-1898): Piano Concerto in F Minor, Op. 47. Like Helsted to the left, Winding's works are very Schumannesque in tone although this time, of course, it's influence and not chance (the concerto dates from the late 1860s and the Concert Allegro from around 1875). Like Winding also, the memorability of the themes make for much enjoyment of listening. Hartmann's concerto (1890) follows conservatively in the Gade tradition also (he was much more conservative than his father, the more famous J.P.E.) but will be an excellent addition to collections of Romantic piano concertos. Oleg Marshev (piano), Danish Philharmonic Orchestra, South Jutland; Matthias Aescchbacher. Danacord DACOCD 581 (Denmark) 11D002 $16.98

CONRADO DEL CAMPO (1878-1953): La Divina Comedia - El infierno, Ofrenda, Evocación y Nostalgia de los molinos de viento (Obertura Poemática), 6 Pequeñas Composiciones. Born in Madrid where he spent the end of his career as a conductor, Del Campo for the most part eschewed pictorial Spanishisms. His 1908 Dante-inspired tone-poem begins like Liszt and continues in the vein of the composer's two most cherished models - Wagner and Richard Strauss. Ofrenda (1934) is especially Straussian in the soaring high string passages which proliferate throughout and that composer's presence in the 1952 evocation of Spanish windmills shows what a life-long love Del Campo had for him. The "6 Small Compo-sitions" (which last 33 minutes) are the only ones here with overt Iberian color, employed with great delicacy and beautiful effect in these extremely evocative mini tone-poems. Spanish-English texts. Frances Lucey, Dulce María Sánchez (sopranos), Coro y Orquesta Filarmónica de Gran Canaria; Adrian Leaper. ASV DCA 1100 (England) 11D003 $16.98

ERNÖ DOHNÁNYI (1877-1960): Harp Concertino, Op. 45, Violin Concerto No. 2 in C Minor, Op. 43, American Rhapsody, Op. 47, Wedding Waltz, Op. 18/4, Romanza (arr. Sitkovetsky). The least-known of these pieces, most of which were composed while the composer was teaching at Florida State in Tallahassee is the 1952 Concertino, a concise, single-movement work which combines the Impressionism of Debussy and Ravel with a nostalgia for Dohnányi's Hungarian homeland. The American Rhapsody from the following year opens with On Top of Old Smokey and moves through many more identifiable and hard-to-identify tunes while the violin concerto (1949-50) is a passionate and sensuous work in the vein of works in the same genre by Bloch, Walton and Korngold. Lucy Wakeford (harp), Janice Graham (violin), English Sinfonia; John Farrer. ASV DCA 1107 (England) 11D004 $16.98

ERNÖ DOHNÁNYI (1877-1960): Tante Simona. Premiered in 1912 "Aunt Simone" was Dohnányi's first opera, a one-act opera buffa about a young woman, her suitor and an overprotective aunt, which played throughout Germany with great success in the 1910s (the Hungarian version, recorded here, did not premiere until December of 1933). An abundance of lyricism, lightness of touch and a direct and sunny charm make it a delighful confection for the collector. Hungarian-English libretto. Andrea Ulbrich (mezzo), Andrea Lory (soprano), Zsolt Derecskei (tenor), Budapest Symphony Orchestra; János Kovács. Hungaroton HCD 31973 (Hungary) 11D005 $16.98

LEÓ WEINER (1885-1960): Concertino for Piano and Orchestra, Op. 15, Divertimento No. 2 (Hungarian Folk Tunes), Op. 24, Pastorale, Fantasia & Fugue for String Orchestra, Ballad for Clarinet and Piano, Op. 8. All of the orchestral items here have been offered over the last three or four years by us but on very obscure labels which have since become unavailable. Thus, we offer this new release which contains a 1953 recording of the Concertino (neo-classical piece from 1923); a1958 recording of the Pastorale... (another lovely neo-classical work from 1941) and stereo versions of the colorful, folk-inspired Divertimento (rec. 1961) and the early (1911) Ballad (rec. 1974). Lajos Hernádi (piano), Hungarian State Orchestra; Tibor Polgár, Hungarian Chamber Orchestra; Vilmos Tátrai, Budapest Symphony Orchestra; András Kórodi, Kálmán Berkes (clarinet), Zoltán Kocsis (piano). Hungaroton HCD 31992 (Hungary) 11D006 $16.98

JULIUS WEISMANN (1879-1950): Phantastischer Reigen for String Quartet, Op. 50, Theme, Variations & Gigue for Viola and Piano, Op. 146, Solo Piano: 6 Etudes from Op. 109, 4 Preludes and Fugues from Der Fugenbaum, Op. 150. Another German composer whose greatest popularity was between the World Wars and who, left behind by musical events in the post-war era, fell into oblivion, Weismann composed in a conservative, late Romantic idiom whose qualities are suggested at in these bits and pieces of his piano works (virutosic etudes and contrapuntal works in the finest German tradition) and, most attractively, in the 16-minute "Fantastic Round-dances" of 1913 which evokes an eerie set of dances suggested by a poem set on May Eve. Buchberger-Quartett Frankfurt, Neithard Resa (viola), Thomas Palm (piano), Eckart Sellheim (piano). Signum SIG X116-00 (Germany) 11D007 $17.98

HENRI CASADESUS (1879-1947): 24 Preludes for Viola d'Amore and Harp, LOUIS VAN WAEFELGHEM (1840-1908): Romance for Viola d'Amore and Harp, GABRIEL FAURÉ (1845-1924): Tuscan Serenade for Voice, Viola d'Amore and Harp (transcr. Van Waefelghem), CAMILLE SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921): Serenade (transcr. from a Cello Suite by Van Waefelghem). You may remember that Henri Casadesus was responsible for several hoaxes involving baroque and early classical concertos which he wrote but which he claimed to have "discovered". Another creation of his was the "Society for Ancient Instruments", one to which Saint-Saëns and van Waefelghem also belonged. This promoted the rediscovery and use of baroque instruments and this release is centered around the 24 preludes (in all major and minor keys) which Casadesus in the early years of last century. Using all of the typical baroque musical forms, they provide a very enjoyable synthesis of baroque form and modern compositional styles. Pierre-Henri Xuereb (viola d'amore), Fabrice Pierre (harp), Anne Cambier (soprano). Classic DOM 2910 58 (Belgium) 11D008 $15.98

JEAN SIBELIUS (1865-1957): Complete Youth Production for Piano, Vol. 2 - 7 Sonata Fragments, 3 Sonata Movements, Florestan, 3 Waltzes, Valse à Betsy Lerche and 13 other short and fragmentary pieces. Volume 50 in BIS' Sibelius Edition brings more unknown, unpublished and (except for Florestan) unrecorded piano music from the years 1885-1891. Most interesting here are several which were intended to have a Finnish character, two sonata expositions (with recapitulations done by Kalevi Aho in 1999) and a complete Sonata Allegro, all of the latter dating from 1889 and showing yet again how much the piano meant to Sibelius in his earlier years and how much he imbibed the music of Beethoven and Chopin. The Florestan suite is a fine little tone-poem although its small-scale does not provide as great an example of Sibelius' pianistic abilities as several of the other fragments on this disc. Folke Gräsbeck (piano). BIS CD-1202 (Sweden) 11D009 $17.98

HUBER - Symphonies Nos. 1 & 7!

HANS HUBER (1852-1921): Symphony No. 1 "Tellsinfonie" in D Minor, Op. 63, Symphony No. 7 "Swiss" in D Minor. Huber's biographer described him as combining the "Romantic way of thinking of Schumann" with "the naïve blissfulness of sound of the South" and this is one way of defining what separates the Swiss from the Germans - Italy is just across the southern border. This fourth volume of the complete Huber symphonies brings two works overtly connected with Switzerland. The composer's first effort in the genre dates from 1881 and, though it carries as its subtitle the name of Switzerland's national hero, it is not a programmatic work. In fact, in its scale, density of musical activity, instrumentation, richness of harmony, the use of mutual thematic elements across all four movements and in its use of dance and chorale elements, it's rather like the symphonies of Brahms (only the first two of which existed at the time). The seventh dates from 1916 and was originally planned as a choral/orchestra piece. Huber wrote out a detailed program for it which he abandoned when he decided to omit the texts. Nonetheless, they are useful to read: "Serious and turbulent. Silence and storm" for the first movement, "Wedding procession from church to village" for the second (which uses folk song) and "Celebration" for the finale, the third movement just being described by adagio. Stuttgart Philharmonic; Jörg-Peter Weigle. Sterling CDS-1042 (Sweden) 11D010 $15.98

Frank Bridge - World Premiere Recording!

FRANK BRIDGE (1879-1941): Orchestral Works, Vol. 1 - Mid of the Night, Enter Spring, Isabella, Two Poems for Orchestra. The first in a new series of Bridge orchestral music brings the world premiere recording of the 1903 tone-poem Mid of the Night (listed in Grove as merely "Symphonic Poem"), a 26-minute work of Lisztian proportions prefaced by some typically Romantic, metaphysical lines of poetry. As a calling card for a young composer to demonstrate his abilities as both composer and orchesrator, it is superb although the influences most obvious (besides the traditional starting point of Brahms and Dvorák) are Tchaikovsky and, perhaps, Elgar. Isabella (1907) appears to be making its CD premiere - a brilliantly conceived and orchestrated symphonic poem based on a macabre and chilling Florentine tale by Boccaccio via Keats' poetic version (Tchaikovsky - especially Romeo and Juliet - the model again). Still somewhat neglected are the Two Poems of 1915 which show Bridge's style changing course - the first's veiled sonorities, sensuous chromaticism and ambivalent tonality betray the influence of Debussy and Scriabin; the second is an exuberant, orchestrally brilliant scherzo. BBC National Orchestra of Wales; Richard Hickox. Chandos 9950 (England) 11D011 $16.98

MADETOJA - World Premiere Recordings!

LEEVI MADETOJA (1887-1947): Orchestral Works, Vol. 3 - Symphonic Suite for Orchestra, Op. 4, Suite from Okon Fuoko, Op. 58, Barcarola, Op. 67/2. Here is the first recording of the 1910 Symphonic Suite, a four-movement work whose first is a strings-only Elegy, delicately beautiful. The Nocturne is the biggest movement, a richly glowing work whose controlled use of Romanticism stops just short of sensuality; Pastorale foreshadows the slow movments of Madetoja's symphonies as an English horn dialogues throughout with French horn while the Finale is rhythmically lively and conservatively Romantic as well. The Barcarola of 1929 also receives its first recording, a tranquil, melancholy piece with hints of Ostrobothnian folk music in the background. Oulu Symphony Orchestra; Arvo Volmer. Alba ABCD 156 (Finland) 11D012 $16.98

GEORGE TEMPLETON STRONG (1856-1948): Le Roi Arthur, Die Nacht. After two years the second volume in this Strong series arrives: Die Nacht was premiered by Ansermet in 1913 (and given by Toscanini in New York in 1939) and is a four-movement suite of Romantic character pieces ("At Sunset", "Peasant's Battle-March", "In an Old Forest" and "The Awakening of the Forest Spirits"). The first has a broad, Mahlerian aspect to it while the second is an homage to Raff's orchestral marches (especially the one in the Lenore symphony). The third is a dreamy idyll and the final one manages to suggest both Mendessohnian fairies and Wagnerian valkyries!. Le Roi Arthur (1916) is a three­movement tone-poem - a symphony in all but name - which bears many similarities to Sintram, Strong's second symphony. Both deal with a protagonist beset by toil and treachery on all sides whose life is a never-ending struggle to conquer the forces of darkness and evil. Here, of course, it is Arthur and he and his mortal enemy Mordred provide the two themes of the first movement which get worked out throughout the piece. This seems to overtly pay tribute to Richard Strauss in its language and could be taken as Strong's Heldenleben. Moscow Symphony Orchestra; Adriano. Naxos American Classics 8.559048 (U.S.A.) 11D013 $5.98

CHARLES WAKEFIELD CADMAN (1881-1946): Piano Trio in D, Op. 56, Violin Sonata in G, Piano Quintet in G Minor, The Legend of the Canyons, Op. 68, From the Land of the Sky-Blue Water, Op. 5/1 (transcr. G. Yost). Mostly self-taught, Cadman had the misfortune to be known by the American public almost solely as a composer of "Indian music" since he was a great practitioner and popularizer of the movement started by Arthur Farwell and which thrived approximately from 1880-1930. His efforts at "serious" composition were ignored, so it is good to have three of them here: the 1913 trio was his first chamber work. Its late Romantic first movement has a memorable main theme while the slow movement is a sentimental, salon-style piece but the finale finally did attract attention, being the first attempt to use ragtime elements in a "classical" composition. The piano quintet of 1937, produced after two stays at the MacDowell Colony where his embarassment at his lack of formal education overcome, he enthusastically learned and incorporated more contrapuntal techniques and better motivic development and even added some dissonances, became his most "modern" work although it remains unpublished to this day. Two violin/piano encores, popularized by Heifetz among others, make up this refreshing release. Paul Posnak (piano), Peter Zazofsky (violin), Ross Harbough (cello), Bergonzi String Quartet. Naxos American Classics 8.559067 (U.S.A.) 11D014 $5.98

ANTONIO BERTALI (1605-1669): Sonata à 5 in F "Tausend Gülden", Ciacona in C, 3 Sonatellas, Sonatas VI, IX & X "Prothimiae suavissimae", Sonata à 2 in D Minor, Sonata à 8 in C, Sonata à 6 in E Minor, Sonata à 5 in D Minor "Tausend Gülden". Bertali spent his entire career at the Habsburg court at a time when instrumental music was in a state of flux and growth. The varying numbers of players required for these pieces reflect the fact that the "trio sonata" had not yet been established as the common format; much experimentation and different combinations of instrumental voices provide a delightful mixture of sounds in this group of chamber pieces. Freiburg Baroque Orchestra Consort. Carus 83.303 (Germany) 11D015 $17.98

FRANÇOIS COUPERIN (1668-1733): Concert dans le goût théâtral. Taking an idea by musicologist Peter Holman one step further, Skip Sempé has reconstructed Couperin's Concert dans le goût théâtral and combined it with his complete Airs de cour to form a light divertissement modelled on the short operas by Charpentier or Rameau. French-English texts. Karina Gauvin, Sandrine Rondot, Isabelle Desrochers (sopranos), Vincent Lecornier (bass), Capriccio Stravagante Orchestra; Skip Sempé. Astrée Naïve E 8820 (France) 11D016 $17.98

GIOVANNI BONONCINI (1670-1747): 8 Diver-timenti da Camera, Cello Sonata in A Minor. Bononcini was Handel's greatest operatic rival in the London of the 1720s and 30s and, like Handel, he supplied the English taste for chamber works with flute. These Divertimenti were published in London in 1722 and alternate sonata da chiesa movements with dance-style movements in a manner easy to play, follow and enjoy. Tripla Concordia. Stradivarius STR 33578 (Italy) 11D017 $17.98

BENEDETTO MARCELLO (1686-1739): Lo Specchio della nostalgia. Upon his return to a decaying, moribund Venice in 1736, Marcello wrote a series of letters to a young count expressing his nostalgia for the past and pain at the present state of his once powerful city. This concept album ("Separation, Distance, Nostalgia") collects together three cantatas and three duets on these subjects. Italian texts. Anna Simboli (soprano), Martin Oro (contralto), Accademia degli Invaghiti; Francesco Moi. Tactus TC 683801 (Italy) 11D018 $11.98

PIETRO ANDREA ZANI (1616-1684): Sonata No. 11 in G Minor, Sonata No. 12 in D Minor, JOHANN WILHELM FURCHHEIM (1640-1682): Sonatas in E Flat and in D, Sonatella in A, CLEMENS THIEME (1631-1668): Sonatas in E Minor and in D Minor, JOHANN JOSEPH FUX (1660-1741): Rondeau à 7. Much of the evidence for the evolution of instrumental music in Dresden was lost through fire and war; this collection of sonatas from composers who worked in 17th century Dresden was compiled from an extensive collection of such pieces in a Swedish archive and shows that the innovations which we attribute to Biber and Schmelzer, among others, were already part of the musical vocabulary of these little-known composers. Musica Antiqua Köln. Challenge Classics CC 72032 (Netherlands) 11D019 $17.98

LEONARDO LEO (1694-1744): Il Trionfo della Gloria, Sorge Lidia la notte, Splende più dell'usato. These chamber cantatas show Leo as a pioneer of the "pre-galant" style, along with such colleagues as Pergolesi, Vinci, Porpora and Hasse, yet one who still respected the formality of construction and contrapuntal mastery of the preceding generation. Italian texts. Cristina Miatello (soprano), Emanuele Biachi (countertenor), La Confraternia de' Musici; Cosimo Prontera. Tactus TC 693701 (Italy) 11D020 $11.98

GIOVAN BATTISTA PERGOLESI (1710-1736): Chamber Cantatas: Questo è il piano e questo è il rio, Dalsigre, Ahi! mia Dalsigre, Luce degli occhi miei, Chi non ode e chi non vede, Nel chiuso centro. Five more examples in just the forward-looking style described above in the works by Leo. Italian texts. Susanna Rigacci (soprano), Gloria Banditelli (contralto), Complesso barocco In Canto; Fabio Maestri. Bongiovanni GB 2185 (Italy) 11D021 $16.98

JOHANN GEORG PISENDEL (1687-1755): Concerti in G, G, D, D And in E Flat, Concerto à 5 da Chiesa in G Minor, Fantasie. Imitation des Caracères de la Danse. Pisendel left only about twenty compositions and these have been almost completely neglected until very recently; here is a fine collection which demonstrates why this composer was ranked alongside his more famous fellow composers at the court of Dresden, Zelenka, Heinichen and Hasse. Freiburger Baroque Orchestra; Gottfried von der Goltz. Carus 83.301 (Germany) 11D022 $17.98

JOHANN ERNST EBERLIN (1702-1762): Missa a due chori, FRANZ XAVER RICHTER (1709-1789): Kemptener Te Deum. First recordings of both these pieces: Eberlin's mass uses pairs of choirs, of soloists and of orchestras to exploit the acoustical properties of Salzburg Cathedral in music which combines the Concertante idiom of his own time with the contrapuntal writing of the strict church style. Richter's Te Deum dates from around 1742 and alternates meditative and tranquil movements with jubilant choruses dominated by brilliant trumpets. Vocal Soloists, St. Thomas-Chorschule Wettenhausen, Camerata Vocale Günzburg, Johann Christian Bach-Akademie Köln; Jürgen Rettenmaier. Carus 83.137 (Germany) 11D023 $17.98

CARL PHILIPP EMANUEL BACH (1714-1788): Solo Keyboard Music, Vol. 7 - Sonatas in G, W.65/22, A Minor W.65/25,, F, W.62/8, D Minor, W.65/23 & C, W.62/10. These five sonatas date from 1748-49 and are three-movement works in the galant style with mostly binary movements and in a fluent, unruffled style which is occasionally enlivened by typically Bachian cleverness and elegance in its details. Miklós Spányi (clavichord). BIS CD-1086 (Sweden) 11D024 $17.98

JAN JIRÍ BENDA (1713-1752): Violin Concerto in G, FRANTISEK BENDA (1709-1786): Violin Concertos in D and in D Minor. Frantisek's concertos are in the transitional style between late Baroque and early Classical and date from 1760. Samuel Dushkin, violinist and collaborator with Stravinsky, "edited" and published the other concerto in 1932 and there is good reason to think that it might his own composition. Josef Suk (violin), Ariane Pfister (violin), Suk Chamber Orchestra; Christian Benda. Naxos 8.553902 (New Zealand) 11D025 $5.98

LEOPOLD HOFFMAN (1738-1793): Flute Concertos, Vol. 2 - in D, G, D & in E Minor. More fine examples of high Viennese Classicism from this prolific composer of concertos. Kazunori Seo (flute), Nicolaus Esterházy Sinfonia; Béla Drahos. Naxos 8.554748 (New Zealand) 11D026 $5.98

DOMENICO CIMAROSA (1749-1801): L'Impresario in Angustie. Highly regarded by Haydn, Rossini, and Goethe, this one act opera was a great success when it was produced in 1786. It is a comic farce that sateririzes the eccentricities of the operatic world. All the stock players are here: The foolish and conceited impresario, jealous and tempermental divas, and the put upon composer and librettist. Lots of fun. Italian-English libretto. Angelo Romero (tenor), Patrizia Zanardi (soprano), Orchestra in Canto; Fabio Maestri. Bongiovanni GB 2255 (Italy) 11D027 $16.98

GIOVANNI PAISIELLO (1740-1819): Don Chisciotte. Of all the composers of the Naples school, Paisiello was more open to outside influences of such centers as Paris and Vienna. One of the distinguishing features of his music is in fact his particular penchant for instrumental patterns, nourished by a creative ease that brings out its dialectic naturalness most markedly in those comic characterisations which find ideal dramatic settings in his operas. While not adhering strictly to Cervantes's text, this setting unfolds with amusing musical games along with some captivating moments. 2 CDs. Italian-English libretto. Sergio Rocchi (tenor), Maurizio Leoni (baritone), Paola Quagliata (soprano), Orchestra Filarmonica Italiana di Piacenza; Valentino Metti. Dynamic CDS 366/1-2 (Italy) 11D028 $35.98

JOSEPH MARTIN KRAUS (1756-1792): Der Tod Jesu, Kom! din herdestaf att bära, 2 Movements from a Te Deum for Chorus and Orchestra. The 45-minute oratorio on Christ's death is full of abrupt modulations, remote harmonic relationships, shifting dynamics and tempi, all of which reflect the revolutionary composers such as Glück. German texts. Ada Gunnars (soprano), Helene Schneiderman (alto), Hernan Iturralde (bass), Philharmonia Choir Stuttgart, Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra; Helmut Wolf. Carus 83.142 (Germany) 11D029 $17.98

FRANZ KROMMER (1759-1831): Partitas in E Flat, Op. 69, in C, Op. 76 and in E Flat, Op. 79. A new installment of Krommer's utterly winning, tuneful and elegant wind music for pairs of oboes, clarinets, horns, bassoons and contrabassoon. Michael Thompson Wind Ensemble. Naxos 8.554226 (New Zealand) 11D030 $5.98

CHRISTIAN CANNABICH (1731-1798): Symphonies in D and G, Concerto in C for Flute, Oboe, Bassoon and Orchestra, Sinfonia concertante in E Flat for 2 Violins and Orchestra. More fine examples of the compelling Mannheim style from this conductor of the Mannheim court orchestra. The famous crescendi and hairpin dynamics are here, of course, but the music also has a strong melodic appeal and makes full use of the almost fully emancipated wind section. Special European Import. Kurpfälzisches Chamber Orchestra; Jiri Malát. Arte Nova 74321 61337 2 (Germany) 11D031 $7.98

LUIGI BOCCHERINI (1743-1805): 3 String Quartets, Op. 32. The finest Italian representative of the Viennese classical style, Boccherini combined melodic profundity with harmonic adventurousness in these quartets which, like Haydn's late quartets, stand on the threshold of the 19th-century. Quartetto Borciani. Naxos 8.555042 (New Zealand) 11D032 $5.98

JOSEPH TRIEBENSEE (1772-1846): Concertino for Piano, 2 Oboes, 2 Clarinets, 2 Horns, 2 Bassoons and Contrabassoon, Partitas in E Flat and in B Flat, Trauermarsch. Known mostly for his arrangement of Mozart opera arias for wind groups, Triebensee gets some welcome exposure here for some of his original compositions. His Partitas are in the symphonic four-movement layout while the Concertino is really a serenade - a five-movement work lasting 25 minutes in which the piano is most active in the outer two. Michael Biehl (fortepiano), Amphion Wind Octet. Pan Classics 510 125 (Switzerland) 11D033 $17.98

GAETANO DONIZETTI (1797-1848): Il Paria. Written in 1829 to celebrate the Duke of Calabria's 19th birthday, Il Paria is a two-act lyric tragedy set entirely in the woods and temples of India. It is a gloomy and violent story revolving around the conflicts of the caste system. In this case, it is the Brahmins' hatred of the Pariahs. In this opera Donizetti departs from convention in his use of the chorus and in certain aspects of form. Extensive analytic notes. 2 CDs. Italian-English libretto. Patrizia Cigna (soprano), Alessandro Verrducci (bass), Filippo Pina Castiglioni (tenor), Orchestra "Pro Arte Marche", Chorus "Mezio Agostini"; Marco Berdondini. Bongiovanni GB 2301/1-2 (Italy) 11D034 $33.98

PIETRO NARDINI (1722-1793): Flute Concertos in D & in G, Overtura à 6 for Violins, Corni da caccia, Viola and Bass, Overtura for Horns, Violins, Violetta and Bass. The most eminent of Tartini's pupils, Nardini was known for his cantabile playing in the slow movements of his and others' concertos rather than virtuosic fireworks. The two flute concertos are in the late Baroque style and demonstrate his committment to the smooth and the lyrical while the three-movement overtures approach the early Classical with their sonata form first movements. AuserMusici; Carlo Ipata. Agora AG 262.1 (Italy) 11D035 $18.98

IVAR HALLSTRÖM (1826-1901)/CONRAD NORDQVIST (1840-1920): An Adventure in Scotland, \IVAR HALLSTRÖM (1826-1901): A Dream. The existence of full ballet scores in Sweden at a time when Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake, Nutcracker, etc. had yet to appear is rather remarkable. The self-taught Hallström and the well-taught (10 years at the Academy of Music in Stockholm) Nordqvist collaborated equally on the 1875 Scottish-themed ballet. Each furnished seven numbers and they are fairly easily identifiable: Hallström's language is elegant and early-classical (think Mendelssohn and Schumann) while Nordqvist is more contemporary, full-bodied and using all the available color resources of the orchestra. Hallström's own, 1871, ballet is correspondingly unitary, pure in line and Classical in character. 80 minutes of very lovely music! Ballet synopses included. Malmö Opera Orchestra; Michael Bartosch. Sterling CDS-1043 (Sweden) 11D036 $15.98

NIELS W. GADE (1817-1890): Symphonies, Vol. 2 - Concert Overture No. 3 in C, Op. 14, Symphony No. 4 in B Flat, Op. 20, Symphony No. 7 in F, Op. 45. Chandos' Gade series continues with premiere recordings of fillers, here the 1846 overture whose heroic and martial character is explained by the fact that, even though Gade had decided to forego such programmatic titles as he had given to his first two overtures (Echoes of Ossian and In the Highlands), a lost copy of the piano duet version is said to have been titled "Achilles Overture". Danish National Radio Symphony Orchestra; Christopher Hogwood. Chandos 9957 (England) 11D037 $16.98

CAMILLE SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921): La Muse et le poète for Violin, Cello and Orchestra, Op. 132, Spartacus, Violin Concerto No. 2 in C, Op. 58. This next issue in what appears to be a phantom BIS Saint-Saëns cycle again couples a violin concerto (with a fantastically virtuosic first movement and cadenza) - the composer waited 24 years to publish it for unknown reasons - with the overture to an 1863 stage-play on the leader of the great slave revolt which blends the Mendelssohian overture with the Lisztian symphonic poem and the miniature double concerto composed in Egypt in 1909/10, setting an embittered cello against an angelic violin. Torleif Thedéen (cello), Tapiola Sinfonietta; Tuomas Ollila. BIS CD-1060 (Sweden) 11D038 $17.98

CARL CZERNY (1791-1857): Sonate Militaire et Brillante, Op. 119, Sonate Sentimentale, Op. 120, Sonate Pastorale, Op. 121. These consecutive pieces for piano-four-hands date from 1826 and since the composer has provided in their titles all the guidance to their character which could be asked for, what else need be said except to point out that they take their character from the general musical milieu in which the towering Beethoven defined the terminology? Diane Andersen, Daniel Blumenthal (piano four hands). Classic DOM 2910 62 (Belgium) 11D039 $15.98

JOSEF RHEINBERGER (1839-1901): Musica Sacra, Vol. 6 - 6 Zweistimmige Hymnen for Chorus and Organ, Op. 118, Missa in E Flat for Chorus and Organ, Op. 155, 3 Lateinische Hymnen for Chorus and Organ, Op. 96, Wie lieblich sind deine Wohnungen for Chorus and Harp, Op. 35. This new release in Carus' long, ongoing series of Rheinberger's sacred music concentrates on works for female choir which the composer preferred in his sacred works (leaving part-song and folk-song compositions for male choirs). Perhaps it is because of the gentle quality of women's voices that Rheinberger preferred them for works such as the Latin hymns here recorded but, in keeping with the vocal instruments at hand, his Mass of 1888 is beautifully inward. German/Latin-English texts. Elektra Women's Choir Vancouver; Morna Edmundson & Diane Loomer, Bryn Nixon (organ), Rita Costanzi (harp). Carus 83.145 (Germany) 11D040 $17.98

FELIX MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847): Te Deum for Soloists, Chorus and Orchestra, Ave maris Stella for Soprano and Orchestra, Weihnachtskantate for Soloists, Chorus and Orchestra. The Te Deum was written about the same time as the Octet and the Midsummer Night's Dream music and makes similar use of a great diversity of scoring, forms and construction, ranging from polyphonic chamber types to strict baroque fugues, double choir effects and 16-part vocal writing. The "Christmas Cantata", Von Himmel hoch, dates from 1831 and, not surprisingly, stresses a tranquil, seraphic atmosphere. German-English texts. Original 1985 Carus issue. Krisztina Laki (soprano), Berthold Possemeyer (baritone), Stuttgart Chamber Choir, Württemberg Chamber Orchestra Heilbronn; Frieder Bernius. Carus 83.104 (Germany) 11D041 $17.98

CLAUDIO SANTORO (1919-1989): Paulistanas Nos. 1 & 4, CAMARGO GUARNIERI (1907-1993): Dança Negra, Ponteio No. 49, HENRIQUE OSWALD (1852-1931): Il neige, FRANCISCO MIGNONE (1897-1986): Valsa de Esquina No. 1, Congada, FRANCISCO BRAGA (1868-1945): Corrupio, LUIZ LEVY (1861-1935): Valsa Lenta No. 4, CÉSAR GUERRA-PEIXE (1914-1993): Prelúdio Tropical No. 2, EDUARDO DUTRA (1908?-1963/64?): Prelude in F Sharp Minor, OCTAVIO PINTO (1890-1950): 2 Pieces from Cenas Infantis, LEOPOLDO MIGUEZ (1850-1902): Peças Caracerísticas Nos. 3 & 8, LUIZ ÁLVARES PINTO (1719-1789): Solfejo Lessons Nos. 21 & 24, FRANCISCA GONZAGA (1847-1935): Gaúcho - Tango Brasileiro, ALBERTO NEPOMUCENO (1864-1920): Air, JOSÉ MAURÍCIO NUNES GARCIA (1767-1830): Fanasia para Pianoforte No. 4, HEITOR VILLA-LOBOS (1887-1959): O Polichinello, Valsa da Dor, RADAMES GNATTALI (1906-1988): Valsa No. 7, JOSÉ SIQUEIRA (1907-1985): Valsa No. 3, ERNESTO NAZARETH (1863-1934): Apanhei-te, Cavaquinho, Odeon - Tango Brasileiro, ALEXANDRE LEVY (1864-1892): Cur blessé, FRUCTUOSO VIANNA (1896-1976): Serenata Espanhola, Op. 1/2, OSCAR LORENZO FERNANDEZ (1897-1948): Suire Brasieira No. 2. Music from three centuries is represented in this compendium of music by Brazilian composers; all were born in Brazil although a few embraced European languages and genres (Oswald the French style of Fauré, for instance, while Miguez moved back to Portugal and his pieces are homages to Domenico Scarlatti and to Schumann), the vast majority of the pieces here flow directly from the Brazilian heart with all of its African and popular music influences. Arnaldo Cohen (piano). BIS CD-1121 (Sweden) 11D042 $17.98

HUBAY - Complete Violin Concertos

JENÖ HUBAY (1858-1937): Concerto dramatique in A Minor, Op. 21, Violin Concerto No. 2 in E, Op. 91, Violin Concerto No. 3 in G Minor, Op. 99, Concerto all'antica in A Minor, Op. 101. This group of concertos dates from 1884-1907, a time when Hubay reached the peak of his fame as a soloist to the time when he began to end his solo appearances, continuing only in chamber music. The first was dedicated to Joachim, his teacher, and its unconventional introduction, free modulations and suddenly-appearing virtuoso passages show Hubay's openness to new musical ideas while the reliance on easy-to-follow rhythm and melody indicate his conservative side as well. The second (1900) is precisely constructed in the classical mold, the passionate yet tender second theme of the first movement and the lyrical larghetto contrasting typically with the fiery and virtuosic first theme and finale. The third (1907) is Hubay's most popular and the only one recorded in recent times and it subsumes four separate sections (passionate introduction, romance-like slow movement, witty scherzo and impulsive finale) into a Lisztian one-movement form. The fourth surprisingly revisits the baroque Suite, with a Preludio introducing a Corrente et Musette, a Larghetto following and the late 19th century only returned to in the virtuosically capricious final movement. 2 CDs. Vilmos Szabadi (violin), North Hungarian Symphony Orchestra, Miskolc; László Kovacs. Hungaroton HCD 31976-77 (Hungary) 11D043 $33.98

JOSEF BOHUSLAV FOERSTER (1859-1951): 6 Songs to the Words of A.S. Pushkin, Op. 161, Fairy-tale of a Long Craving, Op. 101, 3 Songs, Op. 181. In three sections, comprising 15 songs and, in this recording, lasting 36 minutes, Foerster's Fairy-tale (1910) is a chronicle of a failed love affair with the protagonist looking back on its course with emotions of tender melancholy and subdued sadness. Only sporadic glimmers of hope penetrate the delicate veil of gloom and memories although the composer's viewpoint is more spiritual/intellectual than erotic with music firmly rooted in late Romanticism and with occasional infusions of Czech folk elements. The Pushkin settings date from 1937 and the 78-year-old Foerster surprises us with irony and the intentionally sugary in these brief six pieces also concerned with bygone love, none of which last for more than two minutes. At the age of 84, Foerster gives us three songs dedicated to contemporaries (to Fibich, a song celebrating the philosophy of music; to Alexandra Tchvanova, a Russian opera singer recently killed in a car accident who was a memorable Rusalka [look for the musical quote], Jenufa and Klara in Foerster's own The Heart; and to a faithful friend and propagator at a difficult time in his and the Czech nation's life [look for the quote from Smetana's Vysehrad - while under Nazi occupation!). Czech-English texts. Ivan Kusnjer (baritone), Marián Lapsansky (piano). Supraphon SU 3550 (Czech Republic) 11D044 $16.98

THEODOR KIRCHNER (1823-1903): Compositions for Piano Trio, Vol. 2 - Bunte Blätter, Op. 83, 6 Stücke in kanonischer Form nach Robert Schumann's op. 56, Kleines Trio, 2 Terzette, Op. 97, Ein Gedenkblatt, Op. 15, Serenade. Kirchner's gifts as a subtle, melodically inspired miniaturist are at their finest in the 1888 set of Bunte Blätter; the transcription of Schumann's pieces for pedal piano are a further gift to the piano trio repertoire. Arcadia Trio. Antes Edition BM-CD 31.9145 (Germany) 11D045 $17.98

KARL GOLDMARK (1830-1915): Suite No. 1 for Violin and Piano, Op. 11, BRUNO WALTER (1876-1962): Violin Sonata. Goldmark's suite, one of only a surprisingly few for his own instrument, was composed in 1869 under a classicizing impulse; it's in the form of a baroque French Suite - five movements, only the second of which is slow (a Bachian andante) and which updates the minuet with a waltz. Walter's sonata (1909) is marked throughout by tonal instability but its references are Brahms and, perhaps, Korngold (Walter lived downstairs from Julius and his wunderkind during the year 1908)! Philippe Graffin (violin), Pascal Devoyon (piano). Hyperion CDA 67220 (England) 11D046 $17.98

REYNALDO HAHN (1874-1947): Piano Quintet in F Sharp Minor, LOUIS VIERNE (1870-1937): Piano Quintet in C Minor, Op. 42. Separated by only four years, these two quintets (1922 and 1918 respectively) couldn't be any more different from each other than the flamboyant aesthete known for his facility for beautiful melody and the human voice and the blind organist of Notre-Dame, tortured throughout his adult life by the deaths and infidelity of those closest to him. Accordingly, Hahn's piece is a breezy, unbuttoned and memorably tuneful work in the manner of Dvorák and of early Fauré full of hummable melodies and as welcome as a soft breeze on a summer's day while Vierne's, written to memorialize the death of his son Jacques in action in 1915 (and to channel the grief also of the death of his second son from tuberculosis at ten in 1913; let's not even mention the death of his brother René, who had been his closest companion and amanuensis, in action in 1918) is an outpouring of barely-controlled grief and nostalgic tenderness which can be painful and exhausting to listen to if it weren't for the humanity and lack of any self-pity which informs the work throughout. Stephen Coombs (piano), Chilingirian Quartet. Hyperion CDA 67258 (England) 11D047 $17.98

VÍTEZSLAV NOVÁK (1870-1949): The Storm, Op. 42, ANTONÍN DVORÁK (1841-1904): The Spectre's Bride, Op. 69. Dvorák, as he was to do again much later with his tone-poems, chose a ghastly shocker of a ballad by K.J. Erben for a commission from Birmingham (1884); he chose to see a drama of guilt and spiritual awakening in what could have been treated as a wallow in blasphemy and sin. The Novák (1910) takes an old-fashioned romantic text by Svatopluk Cech and turns it into an allegory of the transience of misfortune and death and the permanence of love and hope, using his characteristic base of Moravian and Slovak folk melody to inform much of the grand and imposing score. 2 CDs. Mid-price. (Recordings: Dvorák - 1961 [stereo]; Novák - 1956 [mono]). Czech-English texts. Drahomíra Tikalová, Maria Tauberová (sopranos), Beno Blachut (tenor), Ladislav Mráz (bass-baritone), Vladimír Jedenáctík, Jaroslav Veverka (basses), Czech Philharmonic Chorus and Orchestra; Jaroslav Krombholc. Supraphon SU 3574 (Czech Republic) 11D048 $21.98

CHARLES KOECHLIN (1867-1950): 5 Sonatines, Op. 59, 12 Esquisses, Op. 47/1, 12 Esquisses, Op. 47/2, Pastorales, Op. 77, Nouvelles Sonatines, Op. 87, Chants de Kervéléan, Op. 197. It will be obvious from the fact that only two of the 76 individual movements on these two discs last as long as four minutes that we are dealing with miniaturism. All but the Chants de Kervéléan date from before 1924 and fall into two broadly characterized types: those derived from folk-like or simple themes and others which are based on a certain harmonic climate. In some cases Satie is a reference, in others, perhaps, early Debussy; sometimes the ghost of Chopin seems to hover over these often evocative, evanescent pieces. The Chants were written in 1943-44 for a friend who was imprisoned by the Nazis and their expressive and formal scope with a balance between melody, harmony and counterpoint - miniatures still but with a grandeur and loftiness absent from the earlier works. 2 CDs. Mireille Guillaume (piano). Skarbo DSK 10556 (France) 11D049 $33.98

REYNALDO HAHN (1874-1947): Le Rossignol éperdu - 53 poèmes pour piano. These pieces were published in 1912 but had a gestation period of 1899-1911 and they reflect varying states of mind, impressions, sketches, atmospheric moments and thoughts which came to Hahn during his many travels. Like a set of musical watercolors, they represent the ultra-sensitive impressions made on a sensitve, sentimental and melancholic mind; the composer's only comment on the cycle was that he had written it with "suppressed tears". There are influences of Fauré and even of Debussy but above all else, these are Hahn's works, the works of a melodist, perfectly crafted, conservative and in no way outside the tradition of his teacher, Massenet. World Premiere Recording. 2 CDs. Earl Wild (piano). Ivory Classics 72006 (U.S.A.) 11D050 $29.98

SIGFRID KARG-ELERT (1877-1933): 7 Pastels from the Lake of Constance, Op. 96, 8 Short Pieces, Op. 154, 3 Impressions, Op. 72, Passacaglia and Fugue on B-A-C-H, Op. 150, Ach bleib mit deiner Gnade, Op. 87/1. The 1920 Pastels is one of Karg-Elert's most strikingly unusual (OK, bizarre) works; the weird registration demands and the advanced harmonies produce music of vivid Impressionistic quality and each of the movements has a pictorial title for us to meditate on while soaking in his unusual colors. The Impressions (1912) shift between Wagnerian Romanticism and French Impressionism, a great distance from the simplicity of the late Short Pieces (published posthumously). The recital ends with the composer's last large-scale work, the 1931 Passacaglia and Fugue, filled with colorful harmonies, surprising ideas and highly dramatic developments. Hans Fagius (Frobenius organ of Aarhus Cathedral). BIS CD-1084 (Sweden) 11D051 $17.98

FERRUCCIO BUSONI (1866-1924): Piano Music, Vol. 2 - Variations and Fugue on Chopin's Prelude in C Minor, Op. 22, Étude en forme de variations, Op. 17, Variations on "Kommt ein Vogel geflogen", Theme and Variations in C, Inno Variations, BACH/BUSONI: Chaconne. The magnificent transcription of Bach's Chaconne presents an entirely legitimate late Romantic version of the original; hardly less monumental are the 31-minute-long Chopin variations, produced by the 19-year-old Busoni as, perhaps, a complement to Brahms' Handel Variations. Nonetheless, it is a compendium of bravura Romantic piano technique and is performed here in its original version (Busoni drastically compressed and rewrote it for inclusion in his 1918-22 Klavierübung). Three rarities are included: the "Kommt ein Vogel" variations on a children's song date from 1886 and parody Schumann, Mendelssohn, Chopin, Wagner and Scarlatti (they were not published until 1987); the Theme and Variations in C and Inno variations are the work of a seven-year-old and an eight-year-old Busoni, respecively. Wolf Harden (piano). Naxos 8.555699 (New Zealand) 11D052 $5.98

Symphonic Transcriptions by LEOPOLD STOKOWSKI (1882-1977): HANDEL: Water Music Suite, Dead March (from Saul), BUXTEHUDE: Sarabande and Courante, ANTONIO CESTI (1623-1669): Tu mancavi a tormentarmi, crudelissima speranza, PURCELL: Suite, TOMÁS LUIS DE VICTORIA (1548-1611): Jesu dulcis memoria, BYRD: Pavane and Gigue, CORELLI: Adagio from Violin Sonata, Op. 5/5, GLUCK: Sicilienne (from Armide), VIVALDI: Concerto grosso, Op. 3/11 in D Minor. Now that the period-instrument movement is firmly entrenched, the polemics over (for the most part), and some of its practitioners are venturing into late Romantic and early modern repertoire, there's no reason to feel at all ashamed to lie back and wallow in 76 minutes worth of Stokowski's utterly anachronistic, gorgeously orchestrated transcriptions of these baroque pieces, is there? The fifth and final volume in Chandos' Stokie series. BBC Philharmonic; Matthias Bamert. Chandos 9930 (England) 11D053 $16.98

JOHN PHILIP SOUSA (1854-1932): Music for Wind Band, Vol. 2 - Marches: The Royal Welch Fusiliers, (Untitled), The Fairest of the Fair, Wisconsin Forward Forever, Solid Men to the Front, King Cotton, Bullets and Bayonets, Suite: At the Movies, Patrol: Rose, Shamrock & Thistle, Legend: Willow Blossoms, Songs of Grace and Glory. Royal Artillery Band; Keith Brion. Naxos American Classics 8.559059 (U.S.A.) 11D054 $5.98

2 Unknown Gershwin Musicals - World Premiere Recordings!

GEORGE GERSHWIN (1898-1937)/IRA GERSHWIN (1896-1983): Tell Me More, Tip-Toes. Tip-Toes had its Broadway debut on Dec. 28, 1925 and ran for 194 performances. Its book was by Guy Bolton and Fred Thompson, who had supplied Lady, Be Good! the year before. Tell Me More (opened April 13, 1925) was an unlikely offering at the time given that it counted on charm, modesty and an impish sense of humor at a time when Broadway was marked by star vehicles and lavish extravaganzas; thus, it fell into the category of Gershwin flops. 2 CDs. Various performers. New World 80598 (U.S.A.) 11D055 $33.98

EINOJUHANI RAUTAVAARA (b.1928): Harp Concerto, Symphony No. 8 "The Journey". By now collectors will not need to hear much about a new Rautavaara release before immediately buying it. save, perhaps, that they are brand-new works in his accessible, late style, which these are. The concerto was composed for the Minnesota Orchestra in 2000 and adds two orchestral harps to the orchestral to create a full, lush harp sound in places. The work is darkly dramatic, predominantly slow in tempo (the movements are headed pesante, adagietto and solenne), with the first building to a dramatic climax, the second inhabiting the soul of an archaic lullaby and the finale as solemn as its tempo-indication. The 1999 symphony was commissioned by the Philadelphia Orchestra, which allowed Rautavaara to compose an extremely technically demanding virtusoso scherzo. The heritage of Sibelius and the vast, dark northern forests is present throughout this symphony, especially in the broad, elemental flow of its finale, which, unlike the majority of this composer's major works, ends in a fortissimo blaze of flooding power. Marielle Nordmann (harp), Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra; Leif Segerstam. Ondine ODE 978 (Finland) 11D056 $17.98

NINO ROTA (1911-1979): Symphony No. 3 in C, Concert festivo, Ballet Suite from Le Molière imaginaire. The third symphony dates from 1956-57, a work of full maturity (the first two were from 1937 and 1941 reespectively) and it has a perfect balance between form and feeling, the same sort of easily apprehended musical elements as we find in Rota's film scores here applied to the form of the concert symphony. Relatively brief (21 minutes), its three fast movements are characterised by a neo-classical, rhythmically restless movement (although the pervasive anxiety suggested in the booklet notes doesn't often appear to this listener). The Concerto festivo (1958-61), written for a competition, is a real "concerto for orchestra", its five brief movements finely chiseled, powerfully realized musical miniatures. The ballet music dates from 1976 and happily mixes styles in Rota's unique poetic and expressive way while suggesting the milieu of the great 17th-century French comic playwright. Norrköping Symphony Orchestra; Ole Kristian Ruud, Hannu Koivula. BIS CD-1070 (Sweden) 11D057 $17.98

RAIMO KANGRO (1949-2001): Piano Concerto No. 2, Op. 60, Display VIII: Portrait of Schubert, Op. 42, Arcus, Op. 59. The 1999 concerto is a single-movement work which has four sections generally alternating between rhythmic action and relaxed lyricism. The orchestral texture is characteristically bright, transparent and brilliant, the piano often glittering like ice on a dazzling winter day after a storm. Display VIII (1998) is a 13-minute meditation on the very recognizable theme of the song Der Wanderer, brightly elaborated (much use of orchestral percussion, especially bells) in a mosaic-like fashion with the composer's typically insistent rhythms chugging away at the bottom. Arcus ("Rainbow"), from the same year, is a festive, brilliant and intensely colorful overture whose cloudless diatonicism is occasionally interrupted by sharp dissonances (just as storm clouds accompany the object of the piece). This is minimalism with a human face; born in Soviet oppression, it has a joie de vivre and sense of direction and humanity which is often missing in its Western counterpart. Kalle Randalu (piano), Estonian National Symphony Orchestra; Paul Mägi, Olari Elts. Antes Edition BM-CD 31.9157 (Germany) 11D058 $17.98

LEPO SUMERA (1950-2000): Symphony No. 2, JOHN ADAMS (b.1947): Fearful Symmetries, The Chairman Dances. The differences in Baltic and American minimalism mentioned above can be vividly appreciated with this juxtaposition. Sumera's modal tonality is informed by his close connection with Estonian folk music although he dabbled in dodecaphony; his 1984 symphony pulses with rhythmic filigree and covers a range from dramatic culminations to delicate poetry with an "unending melody" delicately metamorphosing throughout. Adams' Fearful Symmetries of 1988 uses the brass and wind-heavy orchestra of Nixon in China and adds a keyboard sampler playing sampled percussion sounds to produce music which is much more emphatic (heavy-handed?) and allied to pop and rock. Even the composer himself describes it as "almost maddeningly symmetrical... (with) blazingly obvious harmonic changes and an insistent chugging pulse". So there! Still, this disc (and the Kangro above) would make excellent ones to have in your possession if you are not a lover of minimalism but do not wish to shut the genre out of your collection entirely. Hybrid, multi-channel Super Audio CD - plays on all CD players. Symphony Orchestra of Norrlands Opera; Kristjan Järvi. CCn'C 01912 (Germany) 11D059 $18.98

PEETER VÄHI (b.1955): Chant of the Celestial Lake for Flute and String Orchestra, URMAS SISASK (b.1960): Leonides for Flute and String Orchestra, Op. 78. The minimalist concept is carried through to the CD booklet for this release: the14 interior pages contain text which would fit onto two and a half (that means both languages and the recording details); the remainder is fashionably blank with a center spread of a Tibetan lake photographed by Vähi. The latter must be the subject of his concerto (although the notes tell us nothing) since its five movements are characterized by a certain, rhythmic, non-European language which is quite infectious and Vähi's invention carries the work easily through its half-hour duration. Sisask is known for his Starry Sky cycles and Leonides carries this further (Leonides is the name for a meteor group in the constellation of Leo; the work is in memory of Lepo Sumera [see directly above]). Appropriately for this month's catalogue, spectacular meteor showers from this quadrant are associated with the nearest approach of the Temple-Tuttle comet; unfortunately this only occurs every 33 years but its occurence in 1999 inspired Sisask's concerto whose dynamic scale, canons and glissandos were inspired by the spectacular light show which he was privileged to observe. Maarika Järvi (flute), Tallinn Chamber Orchestra; Kristjan Järvi. CCn'C 01712 (Germany) 11D060 $18.98

ALEXANDER LOKSHIN (1920-1987): Symphony No. 4 "Sinfonia stretta", 3 Scènes du Faust de Goethe for Soprano and Orchestra. Lokshin's story, plus or minus the specific details, is pretty familiar; prodigiously gifted, hailed as a genius by leading colleagues, condemned as decadent, or formalist, or whatever the current term may have been at the time, not performed very much in the Soviet Union, championed by a emigré (in this case, Rudolf Barshai), and now coming to our attention as a first-rate composer with an individual voice which owes something to, but does not emulate, Myaskovsky, Shostakovich and Busoni (whose influence on 20th-century Russian music is unmistakable but not often acknowledged). The symphony - his only non-choral one, apparently, is tense and taut, in variation form. The "Faust" scenes suggest an ability to convey psychological complexity and ambiguity in music for which one would have to turn to major operatic works by Britten or Janacek to find apt comparisons. Vanda Tabery (soprano), Bremen Philharmonic Orchestra; Michel Swierczewski. BIS CD-1156 (Sweden) 11D061 $17.98

HENRY COWELL (1897-1965): Piano Concerto, Concerto Piccolo for Piano and Orchestra, 4 Irish Tales for Piano and Orchestra, Sinfonietta for Chamber Orchestra, Piano Solo: Irish Jig, Domnu, the Mother of Waters, 3 Legends. Everything here but the Concerto Piccolo date from Cowell's early period (1919-28) when he was revelling in the new sounds and textures possible from playing inside the body of the piano and using clusters. The Irish melodies sound drunken or sinister when subjected to these methods (the 4 Irish Tales contain works from the 20s but orchestrated in 1940; the orchestra adds another layer of brooding unreality to the effect); the 1928 concerto's three movements tell the whole story: "Polyharmony", "Tone Cluster" and "Counter Rhythm". The Concerto Piccolo, from 1941, uses American traditional melodic types rather than Irish ones but the playing techniques are the same. Stefan Litwin (piano), Saabrücken Radio Symphony Orchestra; Michael Stern. Col Legno 20064 (Germany) 11D062 $19.98

HERMAN D. KOPPEL (1908-1998): Piano Concerto No. 3, Op. 45, Concerto for Violin, Viola and Orchestra, Op. 43, Clarinet Concerto, Op. 35, ANDRÉ JOLIVET (1905-1974): Piano Concerto, IGOR STRAVINSKY (1882-1971): Concerto for Piano and Winds, BELA BARTÓK (1881-1945): Piano Concerto No. 1. Koppel is represented as both composer and soloist in this collection of Danish radio recordings from 1948-57. The piano concerto of 1948 has a percussive and motoric solo part in its outer movements (shades of Poulenc or Prokofiev) and a gravely lyrical slow movement in which the orchestra gradually tames a recalcitrant soloists. The clarinet concerto (1941) has a friendly, cheerful finale which contrasts tellingly with its first two movements which are violent and expressive and the double concerto (1947) is a two-movement work whose opening movement begins and ends idyllically after a crescendo of energy while the second movement is a graceful and elegant rondo. The second disc is designed to show off Koppel's considerable gifts as a pianist but it also gives us a rare hearing of Jolivet's 1950 concerto, a violent orgy of exotic rhythms and sounds (Africa, the Far East and Polynesia providing the sources for the material in the three movements). 2 CDs. Mono. Herman D. Koppel (piano), Else Marie Bruun (violin), Julius Koppel (viola), Louis Cahuzac (clarinet), Danish National Radio Symphony Orchestra; Erik Tuxen, Mogens Wøldike, Thomas Jensen, Nicolai Malko. Danacord DACOCD 561-562 (Denmark) 11D063 $33.98

ERNST KRENEK (1900-1991): Karl V. A live festival recording of this 1934 opera was offered in our September catalogue last year (09C067). Offering a universal Catholicism in opposition to the prevalent raging nationalism, the work caused Krenek some trouble in Austria. Described as a "stagework with music", Karl V consists of flashbacks of events in the life of the titular character (the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V), in response to which theological and ethical debate goes on in the foreground. This was Krenek's first 12-tone opera and he uses the alientating effect of the music to articulate many of the unreproducable aspects of the emperor's dilemma. This will be of particular value to collectors since, unlike its predecessor, this one comes with a complete German-English libretto. 2 CDs. David Pittman-Jennings (baritone), Anne Gjevang (soprano), Czech Philharmonic Chorus of Brno, Orchester der Beethovenhalle Bonn; Marc Soustrot. MD&G 337 1082 (Germany) 11D064 $35.98

JOSEF MATTHIAS HAUER (1883-1959): Zwölftonspiele for: Violin, Cello, Accordion and Piano Four Hands; Violin and Harpsichord; Solo Clarinet; Piano; Harpsichord; Violin and Piano; String Quartet; Piano; Flute and Harpsichord; Piano Four Hands; Flute, Bassoon and String Quartet; Piano; String Quartet and Piano Four Hands; Piano. Hauer left literally thousands of these brief "12-Tone Pieces" along with detailed and completely contradictory performance instructions, leaving any musicians who attempt to play them with plenty of room for argument. Unlike Schoenberg, who wished to express what his predecessors attempted to express only with a brand new language, Hauer wanted his personal tastes and opinions left completely out of his compositions. Thus, we have these seemingly harmless little pieces, utterly unlike Schoenberg or anyone else which often seem quite amiable and, in a gracious, self-effacing way, charming miniatures for idle listening. Or not, as Hauer himself might have said... Ensemble Avantgarde. MD&G 613 1060 (Germany) 11D065 $17.98

NED ROREM (b.1923): 32 Selected Songs. One of the most important of the American Classics series from Naxos because Rorem is one of a rare breed today - a brilliant setter of poetry and with a marvelous ability to adapt his art to particular voice styles and singers. At a time when the song has been left to pop music and to musical theater, Rorem's highly literary and cultivated personality allows him to continue to produce evocative songs in which the vocal line does perfect justice to text and in which the accompanying piano part is very strong and independent. Always a lover of French culture, Rorem imbues his songs with the wit and transparency of Poulenc, Ravel or Satie and his delight in polyphony and fondness for jazz colorings always produce memorable results. Texts included. Carole Farley (soprano), Ned Rorem (piano). Naxos American Classics 8.559084 (U.S.A.) 11D066 $5.98

RICHARD RODNEY BENNETT (b.1936): After Ariadne, THEA MUSGRAVE (b.1928): In the Still of the Night, ELISABETH LUTYENS (1906-1983): Echo of the Wind, ROBERT SAXTON (b.1953): Invocation Dance & Meditation, JOHN HAWKINS (b.1949): Urizen, ANTHONY PAYNE (b.1936): Amid the Winds of Evening, COLIN MATTHEWS (b.1946): Oscuro, JOHN WOOLRICH (b.1954): 3 Pieces for Viola, STUART MACRAE (b.1976): The City Inside, ARTHUR KAMPELA (b.1960): Bridges, JUKKA TIENSUU (b.1948): Oddjob. The viola, butt of many jokes, has actually not languished in neglect, especially in the 20th century, and much highly expressive and virtuosic music has been written for it. This selection of short works by more-or-less contemporary British composers presents a fine cross-section of the instrument's capabilities in modern (though mostly not avant-garde) idioms, from the frankly Romantic Bennett and Saxton,via the evocative and subtle Lutyens and Payne, to the more extended techniques used in the Kampela and Tiensuu. Paul Silverthorne (viola), John Constable (piano). Black Box BBM 1058 (England) 11D067 $17.98

SALLY BEAMISH (b.1956): Cello and Piano: Cello Sonata, Iasg, Bridging the Day , Cello Solo: Gala Water, The Wise Maid, Piano Solo: Entre Chien et Loup, Lullaby for Owain, Kyle Song. This CD packs a considerable emotional punch. Never a composer to shy away from dissonance, Beamish nonetheless treats the cello as a melodic instrument, and one may find traces of influences such as Elgar, Celtic and Gaelic folk music and jazz throughout these works. The brief solo piano works are delightful miniatures, atmospheric and with a gently suggestive melancholy. The big sonata is perhaps the most Romantic work here, and deserves to be taken up as one of the standards of the cello repertoire, combining eloquence, drama and an approachable idiom of considerable individuality. Robert Irvine (cello), Sally Beamish (piano). BIS CD-1171 (Sweden) 11D068 $17.98

JAMES DILLON (b.19??): Traumwerk for 2 Violins, String Quartet No. 2, Parjanya-vata for Cello Solo, Vernal Showers for Violin and Ensemble. James Dillon the young iconoclast - one of the group of British "complexicists", notorious for writing material which stretched the bounds of instrumental technique, is represented here by the formidable Parjanya-vata, leaping all over Rohan de Saram's cello in a manner that suggests a group of strings rather than a single instrument. The other works here are more recent, and the emphasis has shifted towards a more thoughtful, even philosophical, æsthetic, though the technical difficulties in the solo string parts are still extreme. Vernal Showers for solo violin and chamber ensemble is especially striking, an exuberent study in texture and timbre whose material shifts and glitters like an interplay of shadows and reflected sunlight. Unlike some of his complexicist contemporaries, Dillon seems to put the highly active surface of his music in pieces like this at the service of deeper musical content, and thus the works emerge as satisfying musical statements rather than showcases of extended playing techniques. Arditti String Quartet, Nieuw Ensemble. Montaigne MO 782046 (France) 11D069 $17.98

FRANZ HUMMEL (b.1939): Piano Concerto, Piano Sonata No. 2, Grande Polka for 2 Pianos. A pianist before he decided to devote his career to composition, Hummel writes for his instrument with flair and drama, making his concerto an exciting and enthralling composition. Prokofiev came to mind more than once while listening to the work, which combines formidable virtuosity with the kind of motoric drive and momentum that one associates with the Russian, though Hummel's harmonic vocabulary goes considerably further in the direction of atonality (but, especially in the solo part, frequent tonal references remind us that this is a concerto in a tradition which is easy to recognise, and which is related to Romantic and early 20th-century models. The other works confirm this impression, with the sonata in particular suggesting hommages to all sorts of earlier keyboard models that the composer plainly knows very well, which remaining very much in his own individual yet eclectic style. Carmen Piazzini (piano), Moscow Symphony Orchestra; Alexei Kornienko, Silvia Fischer (piano), Benjamin Kobler (second piano). Arte Nova 74321 56358 2 (Germany) 11D070 $7.98

DOUGLAS ALLENBROOK (b.1921): Ethan Frome. There have been quite a number of examples of this sort of thing in the past few decades - operas for relatively small forces, vocally lyrical and grateful to sing, telling a story based on a significant novel in strictly narrative and uncomplicated style. Many of these operas are American, and it may not be too soon to identify this as a new and important movement in American opera. Allanbrook was a Boulanger pupil, and his musical vocabulary is akin to the 20th-century neoclassicism of Stravinsky with more than a hint of Bartók. Perhaps the closest well-known comparison that seems apposite is Rorem. The story, based on the novel by Edith Wharton, is a small domestic tragedy told in appropriately clear and economical terms, uncluttered by Romantic excesses, direct and psychologically tense. 2 CDs. S. Mark Aliapoulis (baritone), Leanne Gonzalez (soprano), Anita Costanzo (mezzo), Cambridge Chamber Orchestra; John Allenbrook. Mapleshade MS 07182 (U.S.A.) 11D071 $35.98

ANTHONY DAVIS: Tania. An amalgam of Bernstein, jazz and 20th-century techniques, avoiding the avant-garde (apart from some taped material and electronic sound manipulation as special effects), this opera retells the story of the abduction of Patty Hearst in colloquial terms, as a surreal drama of contradictory ideas, ideals and events. Vocally, the music owes a great deal to operatic tradition; instrumentally there is a good deal of material that is frankly jazz. The libretto contains enough colorful language to lend a degree of verisimilitude to the interaction between the characters in this contemporary slice of historical drama, and to earn the CD a parental advisory label. Intriguing, and an apt medium for the message. 2 CDs. Libretto included. Cynthia Aaronson-Davis, Avery Brooks, Thomas Young, Episteme; Rand Steiger. Koch International Classics 7467 (U.S.A.) 11D072 $33.98

LOUIS GRUENBERG (1884-1964): Symphony No. 2, Op. 43, March from Serenade to a Beauteous Lady, The Enchanted Isle, Op. 11. A Russian Jew born near Brest-Litovsk who came to the U.S. at the age of two, Gruenberg managed to study in Germany with Busoni, develop a significant career as a pianist and begin one as a composer while living abroad from 1903-19. He then gave up a performing career and returned to the U.S. to be a full-time composer. He later won three Oscars for his film scores but earlier on was especially known for his use of jazz and African-American music in his classical works. Here, however, we have none of the latter; the 1941 symphony (revised several times as many of his scores were) is a brazen, martial-sounding piece (although it has no particular connection with the war) which could almost be a soundtrack for a Hollywood epic dealing with ancient Rome. There is a reminiscence of Bax in the splendour of the outer movements, heavy with brass but they also appear to be tinged with an oriental exoticsm and the second movement would do well as a support to a scene at a desert oasis. First performed in1929, The Enchanted Isle is a 16-minute tone-poem whose sensuous colors, brilliant orchestration and general mood again recall the Bax of the early tone poems or the miniature tone poems of Liadov with dashes of Debussian Impressionism and the exoticism of Scriabin. A great find! And, even better, this is the first volume in a series entitled "Music from the Fleisher Collection". The Collection, at the Philadelphia Free Library, is one of the largest sources of unperformed and unpublished music, both American and European, in the world... Czech National Symphony Orchestra; Paul Freeman. Albany TROY 467 (U.S.A.) 11D073 $16.98

ANTHONY LOUIS SCARMOLIN (1890-1969): The Caliph (An Arabian Episode in One Act). This Italian immigrant composer was introduced to us by Naxos' American Classics series two years ago; now Centaur brings us this 1948 one­act opera (one of only two of his eight operas Scarmolin set in English). A light confection, it makes much use of sinuous, "Arabian"-sounding music and provides much attractive and grateful vocal work for its leading character - a young woman imprisoned in the harem of Harun Al-Rashid in medieval Baghdad (true to fairy-tale style, she falls in love with the Caliph at the end) - in a language which takes its cue from Puccini and Richard Strauss. Libretto included. Maria Harpner (soprano), Bruce Brown (baritone), Margarete Jungen (mezzo), Dietmar Kerschbaum (tenor), Steven Gallop (bass), Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra; Joel Eric Suben. Centaur CRC 2504 (U.S.A.) 11D074 $16.98

ELIZABETH MACONCHY (1907-1994): Concertino No. 1 for Clarinet and String Orchestra, Concertino No. 2 for Clarinet and Small Orchestra, BENJAMIN BRITTEN (1913-1976): Movement for Clarinet and Orchestra (orch. C. Matthews), MALCOLM ARNOLD (b.1921): Clarinet Concerto No. 1, Op. 20, Clarinet Concerto No. 2, Op. 115, Scherzetto from the Film You Know What Sailors Are (arr. C. Palmer). Arnold's two concertos are separated by 26 years but the juxtaposition of sunny melodies and dreamy tunes with sudden eruptions of horror and darkness are present in both (the first, from 1948, being overall more dark, nervous and unsettled than the latter which was written for Benny Goodman). Maconchy's are separated by an even greater period (1945 and 1984) but both are in her resolutely tonal yet tough-minded, often stark, language (the first shows the influences of Bartók and Hindemith more obviously); Britten's single movement of an uncompleted concerto (also for Goodman) dates from 1942/43 and was completed by Colin Matthews in 1989, giving us a poetic and captivating torso of a work. Mid-price. Thea King (clarinet), English Chamber Orchestra; Barry Wordsworth. Helios CDH 55060 (England) 11D075 $10.98

RALPH VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958): Hodie: A Christmas Cantata for Mezzo-Soprano, Tenor, Baritone, Chorus and Orchestra, Fantasia on Christmas Carols for Baritone and Orchestra. The hour-long Christmas cantata dates from 1952 and its otherworldly serenity and extraordinary innocence are supported by a lifetime's experience and command of a wide stylistic and expressive vocabulary while it adorns texts by Herbert, Hardy, Milton and Drummond as well as the King James Bible. Texts included. Elizabeth Gale (mezzo), Robert Tear (tenor), Stephen Roberts (baritone), London Symphony Chorus, Choristers of St. Paul's Cathedral, London Symphony Orchestra; Richard Hickox. EMI CDC 7 54128 2 (England) 11D076 $17.98

GERALD FINZI (1901-1956): Cello Concerto, Op. 40, Eclogue for Piano and Strings, Op. 10, Grand Fantasia and Toccata for Piano and Orchestra, Op. 38. The cello concerto is a work written when Finzi knew he was dying (completed and premiered in 1956) and this is probably what lends it the breadth and power which will surprise those who know him primarily from his clarinet concerto. The first movement is turbulent, rhapsodic and seethes with a fierce, restless energy; the slow movement is shot through with a melancholy grandeur and the finale's dancelike good cheer has a subtext of unease. The two piano/orchestral works are pieces of a never-completed concerto, the Eclogue and Fantasia dating from the late 1920s while the Toccata was added in 1953, the latter Waltonian in aspect. Tim Hugh (cello), Peter Donohoe (piano), Northern Sinfonia; Howard Griffiths. Naxos 8.555766 (New Zealand) 11D077 $5.98

FRANK MARTIN (1890-1974): Requiem for Soloists, Mixed Choir, Orchestra and Organ. Martin finished this work at the age of 82, having known for much of his life that he would write a Requiem but unsure when. The raw energy of this work is breathtaking (predominantly based on melody - counterpoint is rare); the orchestra is used sparingly but tellingly, with drums rattling the soul in the Dies irae and with brass and harpsichord vividly punctuating the Kyrie. A similar intensity of joy and wonder informs the closing Agnus dei. Christine Esser (soprano), Verena Barbara Gohl (alto), Bernhard Scheffel (tenor), Martin Bruns (baritone), Capella Cantorum Konstanz, Collegium Vocale Zürich, Bernhard Billeter (organ), Musicura with wind ensemble of the Basel Sinfonietta; Klaus Knall. Musikszene Schweiz MGB CD 6183 (Switzerland) 11D078 $18.98

IANNIS XENAKIS (1922-2001): Works for Large Orchestra, Vol. 2 - Jonchaies, Shaar, Lichens, Antikhthon. This important series continues with the relatively "old" Antikhthon (1971), a ballet commissioned by Balanchine for the New York City Ballet in which a single complex woodwind sound-block transforms into a dazzling galaxy of sounds; Jonchaies (1977) and Lichens (1983) are similar in their characteristic delight in brutal collisions of brass and percussion with strings and woodwinds, the latter like a continent being formed in the distance which rapidly envelops us in the manic joy of formation, the former an arc which begins with a sustained upsweep of strings and ends in a sustained primeval lament after much creation and destruction, radiant beauty and frightening forces of destruction having done battle over a monstrously huge landscape. Shaar (1983) shows what Xenakis could do when limiting himself to a string orchestra, the rapidly shifting directions and timbres seeming to lack nothing in invention for the lack of winds and percussion. Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra; Arturo Tamayo. Timpani 1C1062 (France) 11D079 $18.98

HUGH WOOD (b.19): Symphony, Scenes from Comus. Wood's music stylistically honors such composers as Stravinsky, Janácek, Gerhard and Messaien, but you may also detect the influence of American composers like William Schuman. The symphony is a four-movement, 40-minute excursion for large orchestra in the Mahler/Berg tradition. It contains many thematic references to works by other composers, and the last movement is a massive passacaglia, which pays homage conceptually to the Brahms Fourth. As a whole though, it has a style and dramatic intensity all its own. You'll find yourself listening to it again and again in order to discover all of its subtleties. The Scenes from Comus commemorate Milton's masque of the same name. Although structured like a symphonic suite with some brief vocal passages, taken all together these form a highly cohesive symphonic poem. Geraldine McGreevy (soprano), Daniel Norman (tenor), BBC Symphony Orchestra; Sir Andrew Davis. NMC D070 (England) 11D080 $17.98

JOHN WOOLRICH (b.19): The Ghost in the Machine, Viola Concerto, Oboe Concerto, The Barber's Timepiece. The composer explains that The Barber's Timepiece, which is based on an Italian folktale, sets reason against intuition and organized rhythm against sensuous melody. The oboe concerto is a contest between the oboe and a large orchestra with some very exotic percussion instruments including trash cans, scaffolding bars, hubcaps and sawed off oxygen bottles. Needless to say the orchestra wins. The composer says that The Ghost in the Machine is a fifteen-minute accelerando for large orchestra, where rational organization and intuition meet. The viola concerto is described as the most intimate, yet widely resonant, of all the composer's large-scale, orchestral works. It contains a number of skillfully integrated references to works by other well-known composers. Lars Anders Tomter (viola), Nicholas Daniel (oboe), BBC Symphony Orchestra; Martyn Brabbins. NMC D071 (England) 11D081 $17.98

NIKOS SKALKOTTAS (1904-1949): String Quartet No. 1, 10 Stücke for String Quartet, String Trio No. 2, Gero Dimos for String Quartet, Octet for Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon and String Quartet. These works are predominantly early; the first quartet (1928) was written while Skalkottas was a pupil in Schoenberg's class in Berlin and, like most of his works from that period, takes liberties with the 12-tone system, here arranging the series homophonically rather than polyphonically and inserting characteristics of Greek folk song in its finale. The remaining works are more rigidly dodecaphonic although elements to be found in the later Greek Dances can be heard in the 1940 10 Stücke while the 1931 Octet manages to convey an entertaining, divertimento-like nature. Gero Dimos is a 19949 setting of a 19th-century Greek patriotic song which can be compared with the contemporary Greek Dances. New Hellenic Quartet, Members of the Vadaux Quintet. BIS CD-1124 (Sweden) 11D082 $17.98

WITOLD LUTOSLAWSKI (1913-1994): Orchestral Works, Vol. 7 - 3 Postludes, Preludes and Fugue for 13 Solo Strings, Mini Overture, Fanfare for Louisville, Fanfare for CUBE, Fanfare for G.S.M.D., Fanfare for the University of Lancaster. The seventh (and last?) volume in this series offers one of Lutoslawski's least heard works - the Postludes (1958-60), which seemed to have represented a dead-end for the composer as the serial complexity he was using appeared to offer no further room for progress. The Preludes and Fugue occupy a similar position; their amalgam of serial and aleatory procedures represented the end of another period (they were composed between 1970-72) after which Lutoslawski began searching for ways to incorporate melody again, leading to the works of his last two decades which made his reputation as a world-renowned composer. The many honorary titles he received led to many brief, occasional pieces, five of which make up the balance of this disc. Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra; Antoni Wit. Naxos 8.555270 (New Zealand) 11D083 $5.98

GOTTFRIED VON EINEM (1918-1996): Dantons Tod. The performance recorded here (08/06/47) marks the first time a premiere of an opera by a living composer was given at the Salzburg Festival; and, with good reason considering how popular this work has become with the European public and press. Adapted by Einem and fellow composer Boris Blacher from a drama about Georges Danton of French Revolutionary fame, it has a sound all its own. Although his first opera, it is a masterpiece amazingly devoid of outside influences. It is tonal, and the work of a dramatist who knows how to convey in music all that which words cannot say. Great musical ideas, driving rhythms, often spiced with syncopation, thrilling climaxes and a definitive performance make this a listening experience you'll not soon forget. 2 CDs. No libretto. Budget-price. Mara Cebotari (mezzo), Julius Patzak (tenor), Paul Schöffler (baritone), Ludwig Weber (bass), Vienna State Opera Chorus, Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra; Ferenc Fricsay. Opera d'Oro 1316 (U.S.A.) 11D084 $7.98

STANISLAW SKROWACZEWSKI (b.1923): Passacaglia Immaginaria, Chamber Concerto, Clarinet Concerto. Most of Skrowaczewski's compositions have come since 1969 when his English horn concerto stoked his creative fires. The clarinert concerto here is the earliest on the disc, premiered in 1981, and it has many of the characteristics of the other works: a reliance on dark tone colors, the use of an extended percussion section augmented by amplified harpsichord and celesta and sparing sections of aleatory in a language of extended tonality. A darkly shadowed first movement is punctuated by flashes of fierce emotion; the slow movement is an atmospheric "night music" piece which contrasts with the brief, brilliant finale. The chamber concerto (1993) is transparently orchestrated with only small sections playing at any one time and it offers many orchestra members soloistic opportunities. The amplified harpsichord and the glittering percussion are more evident for the smaller size of the orchestra; an atmosphere of building, unrelieved intensity characterizes the work as a whole. The biggest piece here is the 1995 Passacaglia, built on the principle of metamorphosis and which builds inexorably to truly volcanic strength over a long span before ending in an equally controlled diminuendo. It strikes me as a work which Furtwängler would have appreciated and conducted regularly. Richard Stoltzman (clarinet), Saarbrücken Radio Symphony Orchestra; Stanislaw Skrowaczewski. Albany TROY 481 (U.S.A.) 11D085 $16.98

JEFFREY NYTCH: Clarinet Concerto, MARGARET BROUWER: Clarinet Concerto, MARIE BARKER NELSON: Culinary Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra, WILLIAM THOMAS MCKINLEY: Going Home for Piano, Clarinet and Orchestra. Nytch's slow movement is attractively quiet and melodic, with echoes of Copland, offsetting the two rather manic outer movements; Brouwer's brief, two-movement piece is scored with great virtuosity (and shows great good humor too), both the soloist and the orchestra having a lot of difficult, intricately fashioned music (all tonal, by the way) to navigate; Nelson's work has eye-grabbing movement headings ("Brothy Frothy", "Sweet and Sour", "Piquant" and "Presto Zesto") which deliver anything but a frothy confection: this is a large-scale work which uses a big orchestra revels in harmonic density and spicy dissonances as well as gentle lyricism. McKinley's is the most original on the disc; it begins as a large-scale orchestral work but soon metamorphoses into jazz- and blues-based music and spends its remaining 11 minutes effortlessly shifting between idioms. Richard Stoltzman (clarinet), William Thomas McKinley (piano), Seattle Symphony Orchestra; Gerard Schwarz. MMC 2080 (U.S.A.) 11D086 $16.98

PIERRE PETIT (1922-2000): Concertino for Organ, Strings andPercussion, SAMUEL BARBER (1910-1981): Toccata Festiva for Organ, Op. 36, FRANCIS POULENC (1899-1963): Concerto for Organ, Strings and Timpani in G Minor. One of Barber's most infectious works, this is the first release of it on CD featuring an organ with pipes instead of vacuum tubes! The performance and recorded sound are terrific, and it's worth getting this disc for the Barber alone. The concertino by Petit, who was better known as a critic for Le Figaro, is a real discovery. It is very French with a clarity, leanness and energy, which not only recall Poulenc, but also Albert Roussel. You'll want to hear more of Petit's music once you've listened to this. That's all very interesting you say, but who needs another Poulenc organ concerto? Well, you do when the performance and sound are this spectacular. Enjoy! Gillian Weir (organ), English Chamber Orchestra; Raymond Leppard. Linn CKD 160 (Scotland) 11D087 $17.98

RICHARD GORDON-SMITH (b.1951): Overture NOW!, Op. 38, Hotfoot on Hope Street, Op. 36, Lowlands Away for Soprano, Tenor, Chorus and Orchestra, Op. 34. The overture (1999) was commissioned for "National Orchestra Week" (hence its title) and is another fine example of the British occasional overture, full of rumbustious fun and putting the orchestra through a workout. Hotfoot... dates from 1997 and was written for a youth orchestra. Its seven short movements depict churches and public buildings along a street in Liverpool. Lowlands Away, the largest work here, is a 40-minute oratorio inspired by a letter-in-a-bottle found in 1895, written moments before his ship's sinking in a storm by its captain and takes its starting point from the genre of British sea oratorios dating back to the early 19th century. Texts included. Claron McFadden (soprano), Martyn Hill (tenor), Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Choir and Orchestra; Vernon Handley, Roy Goodman. RLPO Live RLCD 303 (England) 11D088 $14.98

VOLKMAR ANDREAE (1879-1962): Violin Sonata in D, Op. 4, FRIEDRICH HEGAR (1841-1927): Violin Sonata in C Minor, Op. 6, BORIS MERSSON (b.1921): Violin Sonata in B Minor, Op. 3, Nocturne for Violin and Piano in B, Op. 8. Andreae and Hegar conducted the Tonhalle Orchestra in Zürich from 1865-1949 between them, the former succeeding the latter in 1906 so both are firmly entrenched in Swiss musical history. Mersson is also a highly respected conductor and pedagogue in Switzerland. All of these pieces were written duringstudent years: Andreae's very Brahmsian one in 1904, Hegar's Schumannian piece in 1859 and Mersson's in 1945 after he had served four years in the Swiss army. The latter's is mildly downcast and somewhat tragic while using traditional language with only some chromatic dissonances to let one know it was written in the mid-20th century. The brief Nocturne dates from 1949 and has a markedly French elegance to it. 2 CDs. Robert Zimansky (violin), Boris Mersson (piano). Doron DRC 2004/5 (Switzerland) 11D089 $33.98

MAX BAUMANN (1917-1999): Organ Works, Vol. 1 - 3 Psalms, Op. 67/2, Ach wie flüchtig, Op. 86/1, Fasciculus, Op. 82, Passacaglia, Op. 99, Hymnus, Pastorale and Impression, Op. 100, Macht hoch die Tür, Op. 97, Es ist en Ros entsprungen, Op. 66/2, Christi Mutter stand mit Schmerzen, Nun lobet Gott im hohen Thron, Op. 67/4, Larghetto, Op. 95, 3 Stücke, Op. 67/6. Baumann's organ works are distinguished by lively expressivity, expressive rhythms and a delight in the sheer force and quality of sound that can be delivered by his chosen instrument. The influence of the German chorale tradition is supplemented by a Hindemithian impulsivity bu there is room also for a French sensuousness of sound in these pieces, all of which date from 1962 and after. Rosalinde Haas (Rieger organ of the Veirzehnheiligen Basilica). MD&G 315 108 (Germany) 11D090 $17.98

SALVATORE SCIARRINO (b. 19??): Studi per l'ntonazione del mare for Voice, 4 Flute Soloists, 4 Sax Soloists, Percussion, Orchestra of 100 Flutes, Orchestra of 100 Saxes. This will probably become many collectors' favorite Sciarrino disc, either for those already enthusiastic about his work, or for new converts. Anything featuring twin orchestras of 100 flutes and 100 saxophones - yes, you read that correctly - has a certain element of the spectacular in its favor. But the most remarkable thing about this composition, written to mark two important events at the Convent of Assisi, is the subtlety and grandeur of its conception; quite simply, through Sciarrino's familiar devices of circulating elements of sound in a big acoustical space (the aural equivalent of the largest conceivable Calder mobile), the piece achieves a musical analogue of natural processes (water, light, landscape) which is quite astonishing in its vivid evocativeness. Soloists, Orchestras; Marco Angius. Stradivarius STD 33583 (Italy) 11D091 $17.98

ARNE NORDHEIM (b.1931): Violin Concerto, Duplex for Violin and Cello, Partita für Paul for Violin and Electronics. Nordheim's Violin Concerto is an example of post-modernism at its best - a fruitful amalgam of polystylistic elements which never sounds self-consciously 'modern' nor derivative of past styles. Forrmidably virtuosic, it expoits contrasts of timbre and color in a framework which pays tribute to tonality and Romantic models (there is even a cadenza for the soloist) while remaining very much of our time. Naturally this modernism is more apparent in the work with electronics, a field in which Nordheim has done much pioneering work. Through processed sound and tape delays allowing the soloist to perform in canon with himself, a sonic analogy of the Klee paintings which inspired the piece is strikingly achieved. Peter Herresthal (violin), Stavanger Symphony Orchestra; Eivind Aadland, Øystein Sonstad (cello, Mats Claesson (electronics). BIS CD-1212 (Sweden) 11D092 $17.98

HANS ABRAHAMSEN (b.1952): 10 Studies for Piano, 6 Pieces for Violin, Horn and Piano, Walden for Oboe, 2 Clarinets, Saxophone and Bassoon. The first four Studies are updatings of Romantic character pieces and their German titles show the homage openly; the next three pay tribute to American music ("Boogie-Woogie", "For the Children and "Blues"), the next two have French titles and pay tribute to the period of Debussy while the Italian-titled final one evokes the sunlit Mediterranean. It's important to note that all of these tributes are filtered through Abrahamsen's personal voice and they come out oddly skewed. The 6 Pieces, five of whom use Studies as their basis, take the skewing a little further - notes being erased in order to produce a ghostly and melancholy effect. Walden is concerned with organic growth and decay over a mechanistic undertone while far-off horn signals provide ghostly reminiscenses of the past. Anne Marie Abildskov (piano), Anne Søe Iwan (violin), Preben Iwan (horn) and other artists. Dacapo 8.224155 (Denmark) 11D093 $14.98

YVES PRIN (b.1933): Dioscures for Flute, Violin, Clarinet and Chamber Orchestra, Ephémères for Violin and Chamber Orchestra, Le Souffle d'Iris for Flute and Orchestra. Dioscures (1977) was Prin's first work after he abandoned serialism and it features a trio of soloists complemented by two orchestral groups which play the same music asynchronically which generates the tension and release of the 15-minute work. Ephémères (1973) is a rapidly changing sequence of episodes (originally aleatoric, the work was later given a determined form) with the solo violinist exploiting various playing techniques while it soars over an orchestra which supplies a sustained harmonic backdrop while Le Souffle (1986), the longest work here demands similar non-traditional playing techniques from its flute soloist who darts around over an orchestra heavy on woodwinds and percussion. Philippe Graffin (violin), Pierre-Yves Artaud (flute), Pascal Post (clarinet), Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France; Bruno Ferrandis. Naxos 21st Century Classics 8.555347 (New Zealand) 11D094 $5.98

MORTON FELDMAN (1926-1987): Piano, Palais de Mari, Piano and Orchestra. The first work here is a piano concerto like no other you've ever heard. Instead of soloist and orchestra battling it out in a contest of skill and will, here the piano is reticent and meditative against a detached and diaphanous, orchestral background. There is an element of virtuosity required here, but it is concerned with adroitly superimposing different tempos on each other, rather than hitting the right notes. The other two pieces are for solo piano. If anything they demonstrate even more effectively how positively amazing Feldman was at saying so much with so little. Palais de Mari is particularly noteworthy in that the pedal is held down for the entire piece, producing a continuity of sound, which is absolutely mesmerizing. Try listening to this CD alone in the dark for a totally relaxing experience. Markus Hinterhäuser (piano), RSO Frankfurt; Arturo Tamayo. col legno 20070 (Germany) 11D095 $19.98

JOHN WHITE: Fashion Music. John White, the composer of 123 piano sonatas, here presents a series of musical 'happenings' which may or may not be your sort of thing depending more on your sense of humor than your musical taste. In a basic vocabulary that has quite a lot to do with minimalism (Michael Nyman style) and non-classical idioms of a not very threatening kind, the composer pays wry tribute to - oh, Tchaikovsky, Poulenc, Mills and Boon romances, Baroque keyboard music, Latin rhythms and just about anything else you can think of. Electronic keyboards and clarinets, voices and 'little machines", and really silly booklet notes make this an entertaining release, and the joke is so well crafted that it doesn't outstay its welcome. Probably not for collectors exclusively interested in the German symphonic tradition, though, if you get our drift. Gemini London. London Hall docu 3 (Austria). 11D096 $17.98


ERIC FOGG (1903-1939): Bassoon Concerto in D, JOHN ADDISON (1920-1998): Concertino for Bassoon and Orchestra, PETER HOPE (b.1930): Concertino for Bassoon and Orchestra, ARTHUR BUTTERWORTH (b.1923): Summer Music for Bassoon and Orchestra, Op. 77. Although in the "White Line" series which produces the "British Light Music" line, this set of English bassoon concertos contains only one (Addison's of 1998) which can be characterized as "light". The other three are all around 21 minutes in length with Fogg providing a memorably long cadenza in his first movement and a jig-like finale of considerable virtuosic demands (a composer who should be better known, having won the Cobbett Prize at 16 but who, unfortunately, committed suicide under the stress of the start of World War II); Hope's piece is from last year and its first movement is dark and serious and his second is a "blues" complete with "walking" bass before the finale revisits "light" territory with its Latin American dance flavor. Butterworth's 1985 Summer Music is redolent of the moors of his native Yorkshire (plenty of folk music flavor), often plaintive and melancholy although a short passage in its finale is more impassioned. A release which goes significantly beyond "light music" and which should appeal to all collectors of English 20th-century music. Graham Salvage (bassoon), Royal Ballet Sinfonia; Gavin Sutherland, Arthur Butterworth. ASV White Line WHL 2132 (England) 11D097 $11.98

VLADIMIR HOROWITZ (1904-1989): Étude-fantaisie in E Flat, Op. 4 "Les Vagues", Waltz in F Minor, Danse excentrique (Moment exotique), Variations on a Theme from Bizet's "Carmen", SOUSA/HOROWITZ: The Stars and Stripes Forever, MUSSORGSKY/HOROWITZ: By the Water, LISZT/HOROWITZ: Hungarian Rhapsody No. 19, MENDELSSOHN/LISZT/HOROWITZ: Wedding March and Variations from A Midsummer Night's Dream, SAINTSAËNS/LISZT/ HOROWITZ: Danse macabre, LISZT/HOROWITZ/ KULESHOV: Vallée d'Obermann. Having impressed Horowitz with the performance of two of his transcriptions at the 1987 Busoni Competition, Kuleshov was introduced to the legendary pianist by producer Thomas Frost in 1989. At the two-hour interview in Horowitz' famous New York apartment, Kuleshov and he played to each other and the young Russian was given permission to transcribe and perform these transcriptions and original works. The Étude-fantaisie comes from Horowitz' own manuscript in the Yale Library; the remaining pieces are all transcribed and edited by Kuleshov - a a dazzling hour's worth of spectacular encores sure to delight any pianophile! Valery Kuleshov (piano). BIS CD-1188 (Sweden) 11D098 $17.98

EDNA BENTZ WOODS (early 20th cen.): Valse Phantastique, FRANZ BEHR (1837-1898) trancsr. SERGEI RACHMANINOV (1873-1943): Polka de W.R., JOSEF HOFMANN (1876-1957): Nocturne from Mignonettes, Kaleidoskop, Op. 40/4, MARC-ANDRÉ HAMELIN (b.1961): Etude No. 3 (d'après Paganini-Liszt), Etude No. 6 -Essercizio per pianoforte (Ommagio a Domenico Scarlatti), FELIX BLUMENFELD (183-1931): Etude pour la main gauch seule, Op. 36, JACQUES OFFENBACH (1819-1880) transcr. JAKOB GIMPEL (1906-1989): Concert Paraphrase of "The Song of the Soldiers of the Sea", JULES MASSENET (1842-1912): Valse folle, MORTZ MOSZKOWSKI (1854-1925): Etude in A Flat Minor, Op. 72/13, FRANCIS POULENC (1899-1963): Intermezzo in A Flat, LEOPOLD GODOWSKY (1870-1938): Alt Wien from Triakontameron, ALEXANDER MICHALOWSKI (1851-1938): Etude d'après l'Impromptu en la bémol majeur de Fr. Chopin, Op. 29, ARTHUR LOURIÉ (1892-1966): Gigue, EMILE-ROBERT BLANCHET (1877-1943): Au jardin du vieux sérail (Adrianople), Op. 18/3, ALFREDO CASELLA (1883-1947): 2 Contrastes, JOHN VALLIER (1920-1991): Toccatina, ALEXANDER GLAZUNOV (1865-1935) trancr. Hamelin: Petit Adagio from The Seasons, NIKOLAI KAPUSTIN (b.1937): Toccatina, Op. 36. Like several of his contemporaries, Hamelin now gets the chance to offer us a compendium of his favorite encores. All these pieces were written by pianist-composers and several of the pieces (and composers) are rather obscure although they share an intimate love, knowledge and understanding of the piano. Mark-André Hamelin (piano). Hyperion CDA 67275 (England) 11D099 $17.98