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The 4 Symphonies

VICTOR BENDIX (1851-1926): Symphony No. 1 in C "Mountain Climbing", Op. 16, Symphony No. 2 in D "Sounds of Summer from South Russia", Op. 20 Symphony No. 3 in A Minor, Op. 25, Symphony No. 4 in D Minor, Op. 30. Bendix, born into a middle-class family in Copenhagen, studied under Gade at the Conservatory and travelled a lot, at one point taking lessons from Liszt in Weimar. Due to a couple of serious scandals in his personal life (which the booklet details) Bendix became a sort of persona non grata in his own country not a note of his music was ever played by the Royal Danish Orchestra. His first symphony dates from 1881 and was inspired by a Holger Drachmann poem (whose text is printed in the booklet) and is Lisztian in its use of themes. The second symphony (1888) is Russian-tinged and persistently pastoral (although it is not known whether Bendix was ever in Russia!) while the third, from 1895, is the only one in three-movement form and shows to best example Bendix's extraordinary melodic gift. The final symphony (1906) remains unpublished and has a troubled, questing note although the rich orchestration and melodic inventiveness are as strong as ever with suggestions that Carl Nielsen's music may have left an impression on the older composer. A true feast for lovers of late Romantic symphonism! 2 CDs. Omsk Philharmonic Orchestra; Evgeni Shetakov. Danacord DACOCD 436/437 (Denmark) 11B001 $35.98

Two World Premiere Australian Symphonies

HUBERT CLIFFORD (1904-1959): Symphony 1940, EDGAR BAINTON (1880-1956): Symphony No. 2 in D Minor, JOHN GOUGH (1903-1951): Serenade for Small Orchestra. These are considered Australian works although Clifford was a native Australian who left for England in the 30s, never to return while Bainton was an Englishman who emigrated to Australia in 1934. The latter's one-movement symphony was originally to be a tone poem inspired by Swinburne's poem Thalassa; conceived as early as 1933, it was not written until 1938 but its shimmering orchestration and romantic spirit have much of Bax in them. Clifford's big, 43-minute Symphony 1940 has quite a bit of Walton in its swaggering, rhythmically driven, brass punctuated first movement and in its similarly vigorous finale. A thistledown scherzo and a slow movement developing from a pastoral tranquility to climaxes of dramatic intensity make up the rest of this fine, truly "English" work. Gough's 2-minute serenade is so gorgeous that one wonders what else there is in this short-lived composer's uvre. BBC Philharmonic; Vernon Handley. Chandos 9757 (England) 11B002 $16.98

An Icelandic Volcanic Eruption!

JÓN LEIFS (1899-1968): Hekla for Mixed Choir and Orchestra, Op. 52, Réminiscence du Nord for String Orchestra, Op. 40, Loftr-Suite for Orchestra, Op. 6a, Iceland Overture, Op. 9 for Orchestra and Mixed Chorus, Elegy, Op. 53 for String Orchestra, Requiem, Op. 33b for Mixed Choir a capella. We've written about the primordial, primitive energy present in much of Leifs' music, music which is inspired by the harsh, unforgiving yet spectacularly beautiful landscape of his native Iceland. Late in his career, the composer wrote four pieces depicting Icelandic natural phenomena: Dettifoss (a waterfall), Geysir (a geyser) and a fourth yet to be recorded. Here we have 1961's Hekla which was inspired by the 1947 eruption of the eponymous volcano. Savage rhythms are cut through by tortured horns and brass and a full percussion section whales away on anvils, chains, stones, chunks of wood (and more) and a wordless chorus joins in at the climax; 11 minutes of music not easily forgotten! The 1926 overture presents diatonic folk melodies in atonal contexts while Réminiscence (1952) shows how completely Icelandic folk music had been internalized as part of Leifs' original language. Icelandic-English texts. Motet Choir of Hallgrím's Church, Schola cantorum, Iceland Symphony Orchestra; En Shao. BIS CD-1030 (Sweden) 11B003 $17.98

HENDRIK ANDRIESSEN (1892-1981): Concertino for Cello and Orchestra, Concertino for Oboe and String Orchestra, Canzona for Cello and Orchestra, Violin Concerto. Andriessen's brand of neo-baroque and neo-classical composition is aptly demonstrated in this group of works composed between 1965 and 1970. The oboe pieces is terse yet graceful and melodious, ending with a fugue and the two cello works fuse baroque contrapuntal traditions with romantic musical drama. The concerto is larger in scale but not more inflated in style: in E minor, its model appears to have been Mendelssohn and is one of Andriessen's most traditionally romantic works. Michael Müller (cello), Henk Swinnen (oboe), Tinta S. von Altenstadt (violin), Netherlands Radio Chamber Orchestra; Thierry Fischer. NM Classics 92066 (Netherlands) 11B004 $16.98

LOUIS ANDRIESSEN (b.1939): Trilogy of the Last Day. It seems logical that a composer preoccupied to the point of obsession with time - the passage of time, our perception of time - would sooner or later write a major work concerning the cessation of individual time, or death. Andriessen's trademark slowly progressing clusters and dense, heavy textures are the ideal vehicle for the exploration of so weighty a theme. The massive structures sometimes unexpectedly give way to moments of reposeless tranquility in which a solo voice or instrument carries on the argument. In the end, the work's final movement is a danse macabre, a collage of allusions to and suggestions of other works on the same theme, ultimately arriving at the apparent conclusion that the only valid way to cope with so terrible a theme is to make mockery of it. Tomoko Mukaiyama (piano, koto), Ferco Kol (boy soprano), De Kickers Children's Choir, Asko Ensemble, Schönberg Ensemble; Reinbert De Leeuw. Donemus CV79 (Netherlands) 11B005 $16.98

CONSTANT LAMBERT (1905-1951): Piano Concerto, Merchant Seamen - Suite, Pomona, Prize Fight. This excellent disc contains a previously unheard film score (for a wartime documentary) full of vivid imagery and wonderfully imaginative scoring, to rival anything of Vaughan Williams in the medium, together with the 19-year-old Lambert's earliest surviving orchestral work, the ballet Prize Fight, which could pass itself off as high-quality Bliss without much trouble. Throughout his music an uneasy undercurrent of impending tragedy runs under the fantastically crafted, cosmopolitan surface, and this is what gives his remarkably consistent output its unquestionable vitality, tension and strength. This disc is worthy of the highest recommendation. David Owen Norris (piano), BBC Concert Orchestra; Barry Wordsworth. ASV White Line WHL 2122 (England) 11B006 $11.98

SERGEI PROKOFIEV (1891-1953): Prosper, Our Mighty Country, Op. 114, Cantata on the 20th Anniversary of the October Revolution, Op. 74, Toast to Stalin, Op. 85. This is an important disc, as well as one with sufficient musical (and sonic) impact to make it self-recommending. Here are three almost unknown large-scale (positively grandiloquent, in the case of the Cantata on the 20th . . .) works by one of the two most famous Russian composers of the Soviet era, which turn out to be comparable to his finest and most populr works. They also serve to establish some important details about his relationship with the Soviet authorities and the Revolution itself, from his unique position as a Soviet artist free to enjoy a successful career in the West. The music is in his familiar, best Alexander Nevsky style, and is not demonstrably inferior to that great cinematographic score; of the utmost boldness and drama, a compelling sonic spectacle to rank with the best. And by the way, it will give your hi-fi system (and your neighbors) quite a workout . . . Alexei V. Emelyanov (narrator), St. Petersburg Philharmonic Choir, New Philharmonia Orchestra (sic); Alexander Titov. Beaux 38 (Germany) 11B007 $16.98

HAKON BØRRESEN (1876-1954): Music for the Ballet At Uranienborg - Tycho Brahe's Dream, Prelude to The Royal Guest, Romance for Cello and Orchestra, Op. 4. The hour-long ballet based on fanciful activities imagined to have taken place at the palace of Tycho Brahe (the Dane who is credited with inventing the science of astronomy in the late 16th century) dates from 1924. Using a large orchestra, the score includes Danish, Swedish and Scottish folk tunes in a series of character dances (noble knights, peasants, Scottish, etc.) which exhibit a lyrical warmth and concise, transparent form. The orchestral version of the cello Romance already released on a Dacapo CD of Danish cello pieces is joined by the elegant and scintillating prelude to Børresen's 1919 opera which proved to be his most successful. Aalborg Symphony Orchestra; Owain Arwel Hughes, Henrik Brendstrup (cello). Marco Polo/Dacapo 8.224105 (Denmark) 11B008 $14.98

RUED LANGGAARD - ANTICHRIST - Church Opera in 6 Scenes

RUED LANGGAARD (1893-1952): Antichrist - Church Opera in 6 Scenes. The odd life of Rued Langgaard - which would itself make a good subject for an operatic libretto - is by now fairly well documented, and his music is largely available to be heard. There can have been few composers who took so little notice of trends and fashions in music - though this sort of statement usually applies to rugged individualists who doggedly pursue one musical path no matter what. In Langgaard's case, he pursued all sorts of mutually incompatible paths with apparently complete indifference to the incongruity to which some of these juxtapositions gave rise. Antichrist was rejected for performance several times, as being "an unsuitable subject for an opera". If this suggests an iconoclastic, shocking musical experience - the sort of thing Peter Maxwell Davies was doing in the 1970s, or an operatic equivalent of the kind of artistic exhibition currently on display in Brooklyn which is upsetting the Mayor of New York so much - the music will come as a surprise; very Wagnerian and full of big, bold, conventionally operatic gestures. It is almost tempting to suggest that if you didn't know what the opera is about, you would never work it out from the music. But the music itself is gorgeously lush and beautiful, a glowing late-romantic work out of its time. 2 CDs. Special Price. German-English texts. Joachim Seipp (baritone), Kathryn Jayne Carpenter (soprano), Marie-Claude Chappuis (mezzo), Chorus of the Tirol Landesthater, Tirol Symphony Orchestra Innsbruck; Niels Muus. Danacord DACOCD 517 (Denmark) 11B009 $29.98

VAGN HOLMBOE (1909-1996): String Quartets, Vol. 5 - String Quartet No. 13, Op. 124, String Quartet No. 14, Op. 125, String Quartet No. 15, Op. 135. We are now three-quarters of the way through Holmboe's monumental series of string quartets. These works date from 1975 (the first two) and 1977-78 and again show the composer's sharply formulated elegance, economic mastery of the art of musical conversation, discreet humor and balanced refinement in treatment of the quartet medium. When these works become better known, Holmboe will take his place alongside Bartók and Shostakovich in the pantheon of 20th century quartet composers. Kontra Quartet. Marco Polo/Dacapo 8.224127 (Denmark) 11B010 $14.98

JOHN FOULDS (1880-1939): Essays in the Modes, Op. 78, Music-Pictures Group VI (Gaelic Melodies), Op. 81, Music-Pictures Group VII (Landscapes), Op. 13c, Variazioni ed Imporvvisati su un Tema Originale, Op. 4, English Tune with Burden, Op. 89, Egoistic, April-England, Op. 48/1. Foulds is an odd composer among English musicians of his generation, difficult to categorise; this is at least in part on account of his very real involvement with music of the east, especally India. He composed large-scale works in the most modern, forward-looking methods, including quarter-tones, and at least some of these were performed under quite auspicious circumstances in the early decades of the century - hardly at all since. He was also an accomplished practitioner of the English "light music" style of composition. The works on this disc new to the catalogue are the two sets of Music-pictures. Typically of a composer who saw little distinction between different areas of the arts (to underline this he assigned opus numbers to several prose works), these short pieces conjure an uncanny sense of time, place and mood in their first few bars. All Foulds' piano music is engaging and inventive, and well worth getting to know. Kathryn Stott (piano). BIS CD-933 (Sweden)11B011 $17.98

Husum Festival 1998

EMIL VON SAUER (1862-1942): Murmure de Vent, Frisson de Feuilles, RODION SHCHEDRIN (b.1932): À la Albéniz (Oleg Marshev), FREDERICK DELIUS (1862-1934): Prelude and Duet from Margot le Rouge (arr. Ravel), from Irmelin (arr. Florent Schmitt) (Piers Lane), ALFRED GRÜNFELD (1852-1924): Soirée de Vienne, Op. 56 (Franz Vorraber), FREDERIC CHOPIN (1810-1849): Mazurka in A Minor from "Notre Temps" (Janina Fialkowska), MILI BALAKIREV (1837-1910): Dumka, Berceuse (Boris Bloch), LEOPOLD GODOWSKY (1870-1938): Studies after Chopin's Etudes Nos. 7-9, The Gardens of Buitenzorg, GEORGE CATOIRE (1861-1926): 4 Morceaux, Op. 12, NIKOLAI MEDTNER (1880-1951): Primavera, Op. 39/3 (Marc-André Hamelin). This collection focuses on shorter pieces, and is one of the most varied programs to have been issued from the Husum festival in recent years. It contains some real rarities: two selections from Delius operas arranged by Ravel and Schmitt, for example. Or the Quatre Morceaux by George Catoire, a post-Tchaikovsky, pre-Scriabin Russian composer, and a teacher of Kabalevsky (look for a full CD of Catoire from Hamelin next month on Hyperion!). The two Concert Studies of von Sauer are welcome also; delightful virtuosic showpieces, much too accomplished to be called salon music, but enchanting and entertaining nonetheless. Danacord DACOCD 519 (Denmark) (Denmark) 11B012 $17.98

WILLIAM CROFT (1678-1727): Complete Keyboard Works, Vol. 1 - Suites Nos. 1, 4, 5, 7, 10-13 & 15, Chaconne in A Minor, Saraband in F, Trumpet Overture in D. Julian Rhodes (virginal, spinet and harpsichord). J. Martin Stafford JMSCD 6 (England) 11B013 $18.98

WILLIAM CROFT (1678-1727): Complete Keyboard Works, Vol. 2 - Suites Nos. 3, 6, 8, 9, 14, 16, 17 & 19, Suite in D, Suite in G Major/Minor, Suite in C Major/Minor, Chaconne in A Minor, Saraband in F, Trumpet Overture in D. Croft's posthumous reputation rests almost entirely upon his church music although he also left incidental music for four plays and the body of keyboard music recorded on these two discs which were transcribed and edited by Howard Ferguson and Christopher Hogwood and published in 1974. The vast majority of these works consist of 19 suites composed of between three and five dance movements and they receive their first complete recording here on three characterful instruments modeled on those of the period when Croft lived and composed. Julian Rhodes (virginal, spinet and harpsichord). J. Martin Stafford JMSCD 7 (England) 11B014 $18.98

C.P.E. BACH (1714-1778): The Solo Keyboard Music, Vol. 4 - Sonatas in B Flat, H. 2, G, H.20, G Minor, H.21, F, H.3, A, H.19 & G, H.15. Again we have early works, dating from 1731-1740 but which were all (save one) extensively revised later by the composer (these revisions are performed here as the originals were destroyed by Bach). In their new form, they can be considered as representing the composer's style at the time of the revisions and thus no longer give a realistic picture of his early musical language, offering instead a colorful mixture of the baroque and the galant. Miklós Spányi (clavichord). BIS CD-963 (Sweden) 11B015 $17.98

FRANCESCO ONOFRIO MANFREDINI (1684-1762): 12 Concerti Grossi, Op. 3. These charming concerti grossi contain Manfredini's most well-known work - No. 12, the so-called "Christmas Concerto" - and they show the influence of Vivaldi and demonstrate a gift for easy melodic invention. Capella Istropolitana; Jaroslav Krcek. Naxos 8.553891 (New Zealand) 11B016 $5.98

GEORG ANTON BENDA (1722-1795): 3 Geistliche Lieder, 20 Lieder, Cantata Amynts Klagen. Benda's lieder are in the early Classical style: brief and in simple, folk-like idioms and almost always lyrical. The cantata dates from 1779, two arias each followed by a recitative, and in the dramatic vein of such pastoral cantatas of love and abandonment as Haydn's Arianna a Naxos. First recordings, many of them from manuscript. German texts. Márta Fers (soprano), István Kovács (bass), Anikó Horváth (harpsichord and organ), Rezsö Pertorini (cello). Hungaroton HCD 31779 (Hungary) 11B017 $16.98

JAN ZACH (1699-1773): Sonata a 3 Stromenti, JAN K¤TITEL VAHAL (1732-1813): 6 Trios for 2 Clarinets and Bass. These are charming pieces intended as background music with a whiff of the outdoors and the hunt in several movements. Period instruments add a delectable piquancy to the sound. JiÞí Krejãí, Luigi Magistrelli (clarinets), Petr Hejny (cello). Arts F1 0092-2 (Czech Republic) 11B018 $16.98

MOSCHELES - Piano Concertos, Vol. 1

IGNAZ MOSCHELES (1794-1870): Piano Concerto No. 2 in E Flat, Op. 56, Piano Concerto No. 4 in E, Op. 64. The first in a series of all eight Moscheles piano concertos brings us the 1823 fourth whose first movement is powerful and expansive with piano antics mostly absent. The slow movement evolves from noble simplicity to encreasingly elaborate variations and the jaunty finale is based on a British marching number. From 1825, the second concerto has outer movements in the virtuosic style of Hummel and a slow movement where beatific simplicity gives way to elaborate filigree. Sinfonia da Camera; Ian Hobson (piano). Zephyr Z-116-99 (U.S.A.) 11B019 $16.98

FRANTISEK IGNÁC ANTONÍN TÒMA (1704-1774): Sinfonias in B Flat and in D, Partitas in F, G and A Minor, Sonata in A Minor. Tuma's works are all basically trio sonatas regardless of how they are titled and are in a late Baroque idiom, predominanly polyphonic but with simpler harmonies foreshadowing early Classicism. Antiquarius Consort Praga. Arta F1 0093-2 (Czech Republic) 11B020 $16.98

FRANCESCO MARIA VERACINI (1690-1768): Overture No. 5 in B Flat, Concerti a 5 in A and in D for Violin and Orchestra, Concerto a 8 in D for Violin and Orchestra, Aria schiavona in B Flat for Orchestra. Born into a famous family of musicians, Veracini was a gifted violin virtuoso and his music is characterized by the unexpected although obviously influenced by Vivaldi and Corelli. Accademia I Filarmonici; Alberto Martini. Naxos 8.553413 (New Zealand) 11B021 $5.98

JEAN-LOUIS DUPORT (1749-1819): Sonata No. 1 in G, Sonata No. 2 in G, Duo Concertante in F, Nouveau Nocturne in C, Romance, Sonata in C. One of the premier cellists of his day, Duport also composed prolifically for his instrument. These works are thoroughly grounded in classical style and were designed as vehicles for Duport's tonal and technical qualities so a lyrical, singing line is paramount. The Romance (1810) is a tip of the hat to the new Romanticism. Donald Moline (cello), Daniel Paul Horn (piano). Centaur CRC 2414 (U.S.A.) 11B022 $16.98

CARL CZERNY (1791-1857): Fantasia Concertante, Op. 256 for Flute, Cello and Piano, Introduction, Variations and Finale , Op. 80, Meditation for Cello and Piano (arr. Genuit), Grand Trio in E, Op. 105 (arr. Genuit). The major work here is the op. 105 piano trio in which the violin part has been arranged for flute; the original was composed in such a way that little had to be done in transcription but, besides, Czerny collectors are interested in the piano part and that is in the typical scintillating and brilliant style characteristic of the composer. Op. 80 shows an acquaintance with Schubert's Trockne Blümen but is all sunshine, as is the op. 256 Fantasia. Sure to appeal to all Czerny fanciers. Mid-price. Trio Aperto. Talent DOM 2910 33 (Belgium) 11B023 $10.98

JOHAN HALVORSEN (1864-1935): Symphony No. 1 in C Minor, Nordraakiana. Once available on the Aurora label, this first of Halvorsen's symphonies now joins its two mates in reissues by Simax. Dating from 1923, the work is in the tradition of Grieg and Svendsen with lively, tuneful themes in the opening movement, a lovely and sensitive andante, Norwegian-sounding rhythms in the scherzo and richly splendorous finale. The coupling is a suite of orchestrations of five songs by the short-lived Rikard Nordraak (1842-1866). Trondheim Symphony Orchestra; Ole Kristian Ruud. Simax PSC 1061 (Norway) 11B024 $18.98

A Collection of Rare Nocturnes

JOHANNES B. VAN BREE (1801-1857): No. 2 in B Minor, SELIM PALMGREN (1878-1951): May Night, Op. 27/4, JOHANNES VERHULST (1816-1891): in E Flat, THEORDOR KIRCHNER (1823-1903): Nachtbilder, Op. 25, Nos. 2 & 3, SAMUEL DE LANGE (1811-1884): No. 2 in F, in D Flat, WILLEM COENEN (1837-1918): in E Flat, MILY BALAKIREV (1837-1910): No. 3 in D Minor, AARON COPLAND (1900-1990): Midsummer Nocturne in A, JOHN FIELD (1782-1837): No. 5 in B Flat, EDVARD GRIEG (1843-1907): Notturno in C from Lyric Pieces, Op. 54, FRÉDÉRIC CHOPIN (1810-1849): Op. 15/3 in G Minor. 161 years of nocturnes are celebrated in this clever program which offers much that is utterly new (Coenen's majestic, ambitious and pianistically adventurous piece particularly stands out amongst the unknown Romantics), less well-known (Copland's relaxed and contemplative 1978 example or Palmgren's rather bright and sunny piece) and familiar (Chopin, Grieg and Field). NM Extra 98011 (Netherlands) 11B025 $17.98

ANTONI RUTKOWSKI (1859-1886): Violin Sonata in C Minor, Op. 5, PAWEL KOCHANSKI (1887-1934)/KAROL SZYMANOWSKI (1882-1937): L'Aube, Danse sauvage, PAWEL KOCHANSKI : Serenade, SZYMANOWSKI : La berceuse d'Aïtacho Enia, Op. 52, POLDOWSKI (1879-1932): Berceuse de l'enfant mourant, MIECZYSLAW KARLOWICZ (1876-1909): Impromptu. This disc of rarely-encountered late Romantic Polish violin music begins with a sonata by Rutkowski from 1882 with the expected influences from German late romanticism as well as some hints of Polish folk-music. The violinist Kochanski co-composed two pieces in 1920 with Szymanowski in which he uses strikingly imaginative technical devices - devices which are also used by Irene Regina Wieniawska (the youngest daughter of the famous violinist-composer Wieniawski, who used "Poldowski" as a pen name) in her emotionally moving berceuse. Karlowicz's 1895 piece shows the influence of Tchaikovsky. Tyrone Grieve (violin), Ellen Burmeister (piano). Albany TROY 338 (U.S.A.) 11B026 $16.98

HENRI GIL-MARCHEX (1894-1970): 2 Images du vieux Japon, ALEXANDRE TANSMAN (19897-1986): Complaine de Nikko, THEODOR SZÁNTÓ (1877-1934): In Japan, Sakura Sakura, WALTER NIEMANN (1876-1953): Japan, Op. 89, CYRIL SCOTT (1879-1970): Soirée japonaise, Op. 67/4, EDE POLDINI (1869-1957): Étude japonaise, Op. 27/2, ALBERT KETÈLBEY (1875-1959): From a Japanese Screen, CAMILLE SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921): Overture to the Opera La Princesse jaune, Op. 30, PERCY GRAINGER (1882-1961): Arrival Platform Humlet. An interesting concept, this; a recital of piano pieces related in one way or another to the idea of Japan, by composers who were not Japanese. Until rather recently, of course, the idea of incorporating real elements of oriental music into western music was not even considered, and so "Japan" was used more as an exotic concept than a source of musical material. So we have a lot of impressionistic tone-painting and some use of whole-tone scales, but not much that actually has to do with Japanese culture. However, a lot of the music here is previously unrecorded, and much of it is innocently charming, picturesque and colorful. Noriko Ogawa (piano). BIS CD-1045 (Sweden) 11B027 $17.98

CAMILLE SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921): Violin Sonata No. 1 in D Minor, Op. 75, Violin Sonata No. 2 in E Flat, Op. 102, Triptyque, Op. 136, Élégie, Op. 143, Élégie, Op. 160, Berceuse in B Flat, Op. 38. From 1885, the first sonata represents the romantic, Lisztian side of the composer's nature while the second (1896) shows a leaning toward the purity of classical form. The Berceuse (1871) has the same serene quality as Le Cygne and the two late Élégies (1915 and 1920) are, in turn, intimite and grandiose. The 1912 triptych consists of a metrically and rhythmically ambiguous Prémice, a lazily tropical Vision congolaise and a brisk scherzo. Philippe Graffin (violin), Pascal Devoyon (piano). Hyperion CDA 67100 (England) 11B028 $17.98

CAMILLE SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921): Cello Sonata No. 1 in C Minor, Op. 32, Cello Sonata No. 2 in F, Op. 123, Le Cygne, Le Cygne (transcr. Godowsky). The cello sonatas are separated by 33 years, the first (1872) a classically designed piece with echoes of Beethoven and Mendelssohn but the second a uniquely personal work with a harmonically free first movement and an eloquent Romanza. Godowsky's 1927 transcription for violin and piano of "The Swan" is performed here, an octave lower, on the cello. Mats Lidström (cello), Bengt Forsberg (piano). Hyperion CDA 67095 (England) 11B029 $17.98

LEIF SEGERSTAM (b.1944): September, Visions at Korpijärvi (Symphony No. 21), Symphony No. 23 (Afterthoughts Questioning Questionings). These two works by the prolific composer/conductor date from1995 and 1998 respectively and were written for large orchestra without conductor, the players being called upon to follow the progress of the work through certain signals given by different instruments in turn. Both works are in what Segerstam calls his "free-pulsative" vein, swelling and subsiding with sensitive and delicate sections contrasting with massive escalations and ecstatic sounds. Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra. Ondine ODE 928 (Finland) 11B030 $17.98

Unknown Classical and Early Romantic Dutch Symphonies

JOHAN GABRIEL MEDER (1729-1800): Sinphonia IV from Op. 1, CAROLUS ANTONIUS FODOR (1768-1846): Symphony No. 2 in G, Op. 13, Symphony No. 3 in C Minor, Op. 19. This refreshing arrival offers two symphonies in the manner of late Haydn by Fodor (op. 19 was once available in an old 70s recording by Ernest Bour on the Olympia label but labeled as the Symphony No. 4) which occupy the rarely heard (as far as unknown compoers go) area of late Classical/early Romantic orchestral music. They are well-written, hold the attention and remain in the memory. Meder's symphony (1767) - one of six in his opus 1 - sounds rather like Haydn's earlier Esterhazy period and is as enjoyable and memorable as those by his later colleague. Netherlands Radio Chamber Orchestra; Anthony Halstead. NM Classics 92085 (Netherlands) 11B031 $17.98

GAETANO DONIZETTI (1797-1848): Marino Faliero. This was Donizetti's Parisian premiere, which followed the resounding success of Bellini's I Puritani by a few days. It contains a powerful musical portrait of the title character, the aging Doge of Venice who, spurred on by his wife's infidelity, plots against the Council and is executed at the end of the opera. It won Donizetti the Legion of Honor but slid quickly into undeserved oblivion from which this world premiere performance rescues it. Italian libretto. 2 CDs. Tamás Altorjay (bass), Mária Farkasréti (soprano), Attila Réti (baritone), Chorus and Salieri Orchestra of the National Theatre of Szeged; Tamás Pál. Agora AG 229.2 (Italy) 11B032 $37.98

NICCOLÒ ZINGARELLI (1752-1837): Didone - Monologue for Soprano and Strings, Il Nuotator d'Abido - Canzone for Soprano and Strings, Ero - Monologue for Soprano and Strings, Amor Timido - Cantata for Soprano and Strings. Teacher of Bellini and Mercadante, composer of 38 operas, many of which were wildly successful, Zingarelli fell into oblivion due to the attacks upon him in his old age and posthumously for his "hidebound conservatism" by such composers as Spohr, Fétis and Méhul. These four secular cantatas reveal a highly refined, aristocratic, diatonic style where the rigid operatic structures of bel canto and of vocal embellishment are accompanied by music of profound and emotional sensitivity. To have them performed by one of today's finest up-and-coming young Italian sopranos is frosting on the cake. Italian texts. Amarilli Nizza (soprano), Opera Barga String Orchestra; Giacomo Loprieno. Agora AG 225.1 (Italy) 11B033 $18.98

GIOVANNI SGAMBATI (1841-1914): Piano Quintet No. 2 in B Flat, Op. 5, String Quartet in C Sharp Minor, Op. 17. Both of these works were offered on the Fonoteca label in our March 1998 catalogue and are no longer available. This new issue, therefore, is quite welcome in bringing back the freely rhapsodic and exuberant 1882 quartet and the 1874 piano quintet, dedicated to Hans von Bülow with its charmingly unusual barcarole second movement. Beautiful romantic stuff; don't miss it if you didn't buy the Fonotecas! Francesco Caramiello (piano), Ex Novo String Quartet. ASV DCA 1030 (England) 11B034 $16.98

JOHN FIELD (1782-1837): Piano Music Volume One - Nocturnes Nos. 1-9, Sonata in E Flat, Op. 1/1, Sonata in A, Op. 1/2. Foreshadowing Chopin and giving the Nocturne a firm place in the genre firmament, the Irish pianist's natural grace and mixture of delightful filigree and charming melodic invention provides constant delight. Benjamin Frith (piano). Naxos 8.550761 (New Zealand) 11B035 $5.98

JAN LADISLAV DUSSEK (1760-1812): Duet for Harp and Piano with 2 Horns in E Flat, Op. 38, 3 Duo concertanti for Harp and Piano, Op. 69. Dussek's sparkling and brilliant brand of early Romantic pianism is delightfully augmented in the 1799 Duet by two horns (yes, they have plenty of the melodies too) as well as the harp, which the composer also performed on. Period instruments add to the charm without detracting from the glitter. Edward Witsenburg (harps), Jacques Ogg (fortepiano), Teunis van der Zwart, Erwin Wieringa (natural horns). Globe GLO 5169 (Netherlands) 11B036 $16.98

FRANZ DANZI (1763-1826): 3 Wind Quintets, Op. 67, Sonata for Horn and Piano. Danzi followed the popular example of Antonin Reicha in his quintets, investing his works with a sprightly vivacity, virtuosity and good humor. The horn sonata is a brilliant work that follows the earlier example of Beethoven. Michael Thompson (horn), Philip Fowke (piano), Michael Thompson Wind Quintet. Naxos 8.553570 (New Zealand) 11B037 $5.98

ANTONIO BRUNI (1757-1821): 6 Duo concertanti for Violin and Viola. Bruni wrote a viola method still used today as well as 81 violin duos and 21 for the present combination which, written in Paris, are in the brilliant, virtuosic and silvery style so popular in that city in the late 18th century. Angelo Cicillini (violin), Fabrizio Ammetto (viola). Mondo Musica MM 96078 (Italy) 11B038 $18.98

LOUIS SPOHR (1784-1859): Septet in A for Piano, Cello and Winds, Op. 147, ELFRIDE ANDRÉE (1841-1929): Piano Quintet in E Minor, SIGFRID KARG-ELERT (1877-1933): Jugend for Flute, Clarinet, Horn and Piano, Op. 139. Spohr's 1853 septet, fresh and vital, richly romantic is joined by two real rarities - Andrée's 1865 quintet, serious in its first movement, elegant but moody in the slow movement and operatic finale; and Karg-Elert's 1919 "Youth", highly chromatic and in constant flux in tempo and mood, dense and emotional with taxing parts for each instrument. Midsummer's Music. Centaur CRC 2448 (U.S.A.) 11B039 $16.98

CARLOS GOMES (1836-1896) - Brazilian Opera Composer - Live Recordings

Gomes recieved his initial education at a conservatory in Rio de Janeiro but, in 1864, left for Italy on a government scholarship and spent most of the rest of his life there. His style is so Italianate that he is usually considered within the history of Italian opera. Verdi, especially, was a major influence on him but his works have a sense of drama and his melodies a rich lyricism. Very little Brazilian influences can be found although Il Guarany (whose overture has become a second Brazilian national anthem) and Lo Schiavo deal with Brazilian (and Indian) subjects.

The recordings are all mono and can best be described as variable; when the oldest recording (1959) sounds much better than the 1986 recording (which sounds like something from the Reichssender in 1936), you know that "miscellaneous sources" have been used. Thus, we can fairly warn you that this series is for absolute maniacal opera completists only. But, of course, when do you think this repertoire is going to appear in new digital recordings on any major, minor or mom-and-pop label? Booklet notes provide information, synopses and biographies of the principals in Portuguese and complete librettos in Italian.


A Noite do Castelo. Niza de Castro Tank (soprano), José Dainese (baritone), Luiz Tenaglia (tenor), Coral da Unicamp & Coral da USP, Orquestra Sinfônica de Campinas; Benito Juarez (9/14/78). Master Class MC005 (Brazil) 11B040 $35.98


Fosca. Ida Miccolis (soprano), Zaccaria Marques (tenor), Agnes Ayres (soprano), Costanzo Mascitti (baritone), Orchestra and Chorus of the Municipal Theatre of São Paolo; Armando Belardi (9/27/73). Master Class MC 001 (Brazil) 11B041 $35.98


Il Guarany. Assis Pacheco (tenor), Dalka Azevedo (soprano), Lourival Braga (baritone), Orchestra and Chorus of the Municipal Theatre of Rio de Janeiro; Santago Guerra (9/18/70). Master Class MC 008 (Brazil) 11B042 $35.98


Maria Tudor. Mabel Veleris (soprano), Eduardo Alvares (tenor), Fernando Teixeira (baritone), Orchestra and Chorus of the Municipal Theatre of São Paolo; Mário Perusso (12/17/78). Master Class MC 009 (Brazil) 11B043 $35.98


Salvator Rosa. Benito Maresca (tenor), Mina Carini (soprano), Paulo Forrtes (baritone), Orchestra and Chorus of the Municipal Theatre of São Paolo; Simon Blech (9/11/77). Master Class MC 010 (Brazil) 11B044 $35.98


Lo Schiavo. Ida Miccolis (soprano), Louival Braga (baritone), Alfredo Colosimo (tenor), Orchestra and Chorus of the Municipal Theatre of Rio de Janeiro; Santago Guerra (6/26/59). Master Class MC 006 (Brazil) 11B045 $35.98


Odalea. Renata Lucci (soprano), Sergio Albertini (tenor), Niza de Castro Tank (soprano), Orchestra and Chorus of the Municipal Theatre of São Paolo; Armando Belardi (1986). Master Class MC 007 (Brazil) 11B046 $35.98


Colombo (oratorio). Costanzo Mascitti (baritone), Lucia Quinto Morsello (soprano), Sergio Labertini (tenor), Orchestra and Chorus of the Municipal Theatre of São Paolo; Armando Belardi (1964). Master Class MC 011 (Brazil) 11B047 $35.98

More Unusual Repertoire in Historical Recordings

JOHANN SIMON MAYR (1763-1845): Medea in Corinto. This was Mayr's first opera in Naples (1813) and became one of his most famous and successful ones too. His emotionally vivid musical language and his beautiful and impassioned melodies are everywhere apparent in this work which the famous singer Giuditta Pasta called "Medea - that grand fiendish role". Mono but good, clear sound. 3 CDs. English synopsis, Italian libretto. Leyla Gencer (soprano), William Johns (tenor), Cecilia Fusco (soprano), Orchestra and Chorus of the Teatro di San Carlo di Napoli; Maurizio Arena (3/20/77). Myto Records MCD 993.211 (Italy) 11B048 $53.98

GASPARE SPONTINI (1774-1851): Fernando Cortez Commissioned by Napoleon in 1808 as propaganda for his impending invasion of Spain, Fernando Cortez mixes grand spectacle (17 live horses were used on stage) with touching and emotional lyricism - rather unfortunately for Spontini since the latter helped stifle the former and dampen the propaganda effect. But, political considerations aside, the work is a majestic and affecting one which, on this occasion - its first performance this century - was big audience favorite. 2 CDs. Mono. Good sound for the period. English-Italian libretto with photos from the production. Gino Penno (tenor), Renata Telbaldi (soprano), Aldo Protti (tenor), Orchestra and Chorus of the Teatro di San Carlo di Napoli; Gabriele Lauro (12/15/51). Hardy Classic HCA 6008 (Italy) 11B049 $35.98

ILDEBRANDO PIZZETTI (1880-1968): Rondò Veneziano, La Pisanella, Preludio a un altro giorno, 3 Preludii Sinfonici per L' "Edipo Re". Pizzetti's star continues to rise with this scrumptious collection of orchestral music from throughout his long career. The largest work, the Rondo Veneziano, dates from 1929 and is a lavishly scored, single-movement impression of Venice which opens languorously and moves through various quasi-sonata-form periods in which several of Pizzetti's characteristic fingerprints are audible: archaic textures, baroque dance forms, clear structures and tonal fluidity. La Pisanella is a five-movement suite of incidental music from 1917 for a play set in 15th-century, Venetian-ruled Cyprus, affording the composer much opportunity for local color. The symphonic preludes to "Oedipus the King" (1904) are mood pictures portraying a somber, forboding atmosphere while the latest work here, 1952.s "Prelude to Another Day" is strikingly tragic in character and expression. BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra; Osmo Vänskä. Hyperion CDA 67084 (England) 11B050 $17.98

AARON AVSHALOMOFF (1895-1964): Orchestral Works, Vol. 2 - Violin Concerto, Soul of the Ch'in, Hutungs of Peking. No, Volume One has not been released yet. The Avshalomoff series opens with his 1937 violin concerto, composed in Shanghai while under Japanese bombardment. The work itself, though, is radiant, serene and beautiful with a transparent, chamber orchestra accompaniment and it is an excellent example of the composer's ability to use Chinese themes, modes and instrumentation (sparingly - this is predominantly a Western European orchestra) in Western forms to produce works which, unlike many of the "Western" pieces produced by Chinese composers, have a feeling of substance and a distinct lack of the ephemerality which characterizes much of the latter. In similar fashion is the ballet pantomime Soul of the Ch'in (1927) which makes effective use of a rather larger group of Chinese instruments. The 1934 Hutungs is a tone-poem evoking the sounds and images of China's capital. Rodion Zamurev (violin), Moscow Symphony Orchestra; Jacob & David Avshalomov. Marco Polo 8.225034 (New Zealand) 11B051 $14.98

PIERRE-OCTAVE FERROUD (1900-1936): Jeunesse - Ballet in 2 Scenes, Chirurgie, Au parc monceau, Sarabande. Another batch of brilliant music from this extraordinarily talented young French composer who was killed in a car accident on a Hungarian country road - what a loss! Jeunessse is a 32-minute ballet score completed in 1931 which is set in a dance bar on the Mediterranean coast and deals in misinformed lovers, a sea captain and a flower girl - kind of like the Miraculous Mandarin on shore leave in Marseilles! Chirurgie ("Surgery") is from 1927 and is a suite from an opéra-bouffe inspired by Chekhov's eponymous short story and mines the grotesque and garrulous characters of the original in inspired musical language. Au parc monceau was a 1921 piano work orchestrated in 1925 and sets four short scenes in a small Parisian park: "Cat Playing with Sparrows", "On the Bench", "Nonchalant" (a tango) and "Bambinos". The titles tell all; a wonderful discovery for fans of early 20th-century stage music. Orchestre National de Lyon; Emmanuel Krivine. Auvidis/Valois V 4850 (France) 11B052 $18.98

MIKLÓS RÓZSA (1907-1995): Spellbound Concerto, Suite from Ben Hur, Piano Concerto, Op. 31. Lured by the Spellbound Concerto, and intrigued by the (previously available but hard to find piano concerto, full of Hungarian color), who could resist the brazenly spectacular suite from the greatest chariot-race movie of all time? Danielle Laval (piano), North Hungarian Symphony Orchestra, Miskolc; László Kovács. Auvidis/Valois V 4841 (France) 11B053 $18.98

VICTOR BENDIX (1851-1926): Sonata, Op. 26, 8 Stykker, Op. 22. The sonata is a late work (1901; Bendix was silent for the last 20 or so years of his life) full of the characteristic melodic flare which also inform his symphonies. A large-scale work, it lasts nearly 45 minutes and is a valuable addition to the catalogues of late Romantic sonatas. The eight piano pieces date from 1890 and inhabit the Brahms/Schumann tradition of Albumblätter, pieces which alternate a seriousness with a drawing-room grace and sentimentality. Peter Seivewright (piano). Rondo Records RCD 8364 (Denmark) 11B054 $18.98


SCHUBERT/LISZT: Soirées de Vienne, S427 No. 6, SCHUBERT/GODOWSKY: Moment Musical in F (D780), Morgengrüss (No. 8 of Die Schöne Müllerin), LEOPOLD GODOWSKY (1870-1938): Alt Wien, MORITZ MOSZKOWSKI (1854-1925): Étincelles, Op. 36/6, IGNACE PADEREWSKI (1860-1941): Mélodie in G Flat, Op. 16/2, CECILE CHAMINADE (1857-1944): Pierrette - Air de ballet, Op. 41, Autrefois, Op. 87/4, EMMERICH KÁLMÁN (1882-1953)/STEPHEN HOUGH: Was weiss ein nie geküsster Rosenmund, STEPHEN HOUGH: Musical Jewelry Box, Étude de Concert, RICHARD RODGERS (1902-1979)/HOUGH: Hello Young Lovers, Carousel Waltz, TRAD./HOUGH: Londonderry Air, SERGEI RACHMANINOV (1873-1943): Humoresque, Op. 10/5, Mélodie, Op. 3/3 (revised 1940 version), PETER TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893): Dumka, Op. 59, TCHAIKOVSKY/ WILD: Pas de quatre, TCHAIKOVSKY/PABST/HOUGH: Sleeping Beauty Paraphrase. Following the two eclectic recitals which appeared on the Musicmasters label in the late 80s, Hough has again put together a collection of witty and affectionate pieces, some known, some unknown and a couple of his own devising. Sentimental pieces, many of them nostalgic, openly emotional, they recall an unjaded time when the heartfelt expression of emotion was not frowned upon or treated as "campy". Sheer enjoyment. Stephen Hough (piano). Hyperion CDA 67043 (England) 11B055 $17.98

ROBERT STARER (b.1924): Samson Agonistes, Concerto for 2 Pianos and Orchestra, WILLIAM THOMAS MCKINLEY (b.1938): Lighting (an Overture), Adagio for Strings. Starer's spare, economical and incisive style is shown to great advantage in these works, which are extremely accessible; the composer's use of serial techniques is subsumed in the Bartókian energy and dynamism of the concerto, and in surprisingly rich harmony and orchestration in the embattled Samson Agonistes. McKinley's Lightning has to be one of the most graphic pieces of "storm" music ever, while the Adagio (rather reminiscent of a certain more famous work similarly titled), is a neo-romantic work of considerable depth of tragic lyricism. Joshua Pierce, Dorothy Jonas (pianos), Czech Radio Symphony Orchestra; Vladimír Válek, Carlos Piantini. NMC 2070 (U.S.A.) 11B056 $16.98

GEOFFREY BURGON (b.1941): Merciless Beauty for Countertenor and Orchestra, The Calm for Violin, Trumpet and Harp, A Vision for Tenor and Orchestra, Voices from "The Calm" for Countertenor, Trumpet, Harp and Orchestra. Burgon is especially drawn to the song-cycle as a form, because of the extra dimension of communicativeness provided by a text, or series of texts exploring a subject. His chosen idiom, too, is a directly communicative tonal one, reminiscent of the lighter side of Britten, and incorporating the ingenious, eclectic yet always transparent instrumentation which Burgon has honed through his work in matching music to image onomatapically in the medium of television. As his Requiem, a fine work of the 1970s which first drew Burgon to widespread public attention, proved, Burgon writes music which makes a direct appeal to the emotions, without artifice, and these pieces are most enjoyable on many levels. James Bowman (countertenor), City of London Sinfonia, Kenneth Sillito (violin), Mark David (trumpet), Hugh Webb (harp), Neil Jenkins, (tenor), Academy of St. Martin in the Fields; Geoffrey Burgon. ASV DCA 1059 (U.S.A.) 11B057 $16.98

JAN KLUSÁK (b.1934): Sixth Invention, Pasticcio olandese for Orchestra, String Quartet No. 3, Symphony No. 1. Klusák's style is somewhat hard to define, apart from that of the symphony, which is an early work, neoclassical and easy-going, rather like Prokofiev's Classical symphony. The mature works, composed of strongly interconnected fragments, very economical and pointillistic, obviously owe something to Webern, and sound nothing like the symphony. Klusák uses material which may be tonal, like the folksong fragments in the impressions of Holland, but they are woven into a texture which is quite abstract, a kind of atonal impressionism, sometimes provided with an additional level of complication through the use of aleatoric techniques, as in the quartet. Czech Nonet, Kyncl Quartet, Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra; Petr Vronsky, Film Symphony Orchestra; Stepán Konícek. Multisonic 31 0183-2 (Czech Republic) 11B058 $10.98

GUNTHER SCHULLER (b.1925): Sextet for Bassoon, String Quartet and Piano, Fantasy-Suite for Guitar, Duologue for Violin and Piano. The sextet alone is worth acquiring this disc for. Written in Schuller's richly chromatic harmonic language, which pushes the boundaries of tonality to the point of being effectively atonal, though only sounding like it when the composer wants to make a point of it, this is an unforgettably powerful and original work. Somewhat shadowy and tinged with foreboding, it takes the listener on an emotional journey which never flags for one moment. The solo guitar work finds Schuller writing idiomatically for guitar without ever compromising his individual voice, and Duologues covers an astonishingly wide territory of violinistic possibilities, from the somber singer to the raucous folk-reveller. The disc is rounded out with an interesting interview with Schuller, with some reflections on his compositional development. Michael Finn (bassoon), Miró String Quartet, Charles Abramovic (piano), David Starobin (guitar), Gregory Fulkerson (violin). Bridge 9093 (U.S.A.) 11B059 $16.98

MAURICE OHANA (1914-1992): Office des Oracles, Messe. These choral works, meditative and solemn, utilizing Ohana's trademark microtonal scales, explore a world of archaic ritual. The combination of voices and percussion instruments (mainly), evoking the earliest music-making techniques, together with Ohana's preferred performance ideal - here the recording seems to have been made in a large reverberant church, heightening the sense of some forgotten liturgy rather than "concert" performance as such - provides a listening experience at once unsettling and transporting. Chur Contemporain d'Aix-en-Provence, Musicatreize; Roland Hayrabedian. Opus 111 OPS 30-246 (France) 11B060 $17.98

PAUL HINDEMITH (1895-1963): Sinfonie "Mathis der Maler", rag time (wohltemperiert), Sonata for Piano Four Hands, Walzer, Op. 6, Sonata for 2 Pianos. These tightly organised works seem somehow to belong to the keyboard medium, even though the Mathis Symphony and rag time (irreverently, and gloriously, after Bach) also exist in versions of sumtuous orchestration. The two sonatas are precise and economical in their formal sonata structure, and harmonically clear and uncluttered. This disc contains some of Hindemith's most appealing keyboard writing. Andreas Grau, Götz Schumacher (pianos). Wergo WER 6633-2 (Germany) 11B061 $19.98

SALLY BEAMISH (b.1956): Viola Concerto, Cello Concerto "River", Tam Lin for Oboe and Orchestra. Beamish's music is characterised by its clarity of expression and vividness of imagery, and it seems to be no accident that she uses extramusical works of art and literature as the material on which these three works are based, nor that the works in question are especially potent dramatic episodes full of contrasts and striking images. The viola concerto illuminates the denial of Christ, intercutting scenes and personæ in almost cinematic detail. The cello concerto takes its inspiration from Ted Hughes "River" poems, and here the colors and textures of Beamish's fluid tone-paintings match the somber, subtle strength of the texts. The oboe concertino (in all but name) illustrates a Scots fairy-tale, again in exquisitely precise and detailed brush-strokes. Philip Dukes (viola), Robert Cohen (cello), Gordon Hunt (oboe), Swedish Chamber Orchestra; Ola Rudner. BIS CD-971 (Sweden) 11B062 $17.98

HUGO DISTLER (1908-1942): Kammerkonzert for Harpsichord and 11 Solo Instruments, Concerto for Harpsichord and Strings, Op. 14. Written for a large romantic harpsichord, and using all the resources of this formidable instrument, Distler's concertos are splendid, bracing works, highly energetic and full of the scurrying activity which the harpsichord does so well. The Op. 14 is a large-scale work (at around 40 minutes), somewhat acerbic, angry even, but in the context of a musical vocabulary of neoclassical elegance and control. Distler's somewhat Bartókian harmonic language provides a pleasing contrast with the archaic classicality of the solo instrument's timbre. Wiener Akademie; Martin Haselböck (harpsichord). Thorofon CTH 2403 (Germany) 11B063 $16.98

FERRUCCIO BUSONI (1866-1824): Red Indian Diary: Book One, 7 Elegies, Chaconne from Partita in D Minor by Bach. In her superbly insightful booklet note, Slotchiver speaks of Busoni's status as a complete "Renaissance man" - one who truly excelled at everything he attempted, without specialization. The sheer diversity of music present in even a 75 minute recital such as this reinforces this. Here we have transcriptions of Native American melodies (from Natalie Curtis' collection) cast in Busoni's inimitable piano style; the familiar (and none the worse for that) Bach Chaconne; and the extraordinary Elegies which probably cover more facets of what Busoni was about than any other work; his expanded tonality, his love of tonal and expressive ambiguity, his sense of operatic drama (Turandot, represented here in the fourth elegy; Slotchiver is one of few commentators who deals appropriately with the appearance of "Greensleeves" in this piece - it is not a mistake, it was used as an execution song in Elizabethan times, and is a further example of Busonian references within references and ambivalent apparent self-contradiction), and so on. Jeni Slotchiver (piano). Centaur CRC 2438 (U.S.A.) 11B064 $16.98

KLAUS EGGE (1906-1979): Piano Sonata No. 1, Op. 4 "Draumkvædet", Phantasy in Halling, Op. 12a, Phantasy in Springar, Op. 12c, Goat Horn Dance, Valse Dolce, Op. 1/1, Akvarell, Op. 1/2, Piano Sonata No. 2, Op. 27 "Patética". As rugged and angular as the mountains and coastline of the composer's native Norway, Egge's piano music might be described as what the Grieg of the Slätter might have written had he lived two generations later. There are definite influences from folk fiddle-playing, especially in the earlier works, and also a melodic sensibility, though obviously not as overtly "tuneful" as much of Grieg. Dissonance is used to illuminate a basically tonal landscape, and there are many moments, too, of great lyrical tenderness and atmosphere. Egge really doesn't sound like anybody else, and these fine works make a worthy addition to the piano repertoire of our century. Torleif Torgersen (piano). Simax PSC 1131 (Norway) 11B065 $19.98

OLE SCHMIDT (b.1928): Pièce Concertante for Trumpet and Trombone, Strings, Percussion and Harp, Tuba Concerto, Concerto for Horn in F and Chamber Orchestra, Music for 5 Horns in F, Timpani and Percussion. Schmidt's music is full of bubbling energy, forthright, lively and virtuosic, going right to the point and never beating around the bush. His training as a jazz musician can be heard in places in the robust 1959 Pièce Concertante and all of the works set the soloist against the orchestra in a struggle which he eventually wins. The Music for 5 Horns... (1966) is a medieval idyll interrupted by modern tones and peppery chords and the horn concerto of the same year exudes more recklessness and joie de vivre. A bright, entertaining disc from a man most of know only as a conductor. Knud Hovaldt (trumpet), Carsten Svanberg (trombone), Michael Lind (tuba), Bjørn Fosdal (horn), Aarhus Symphony Orchestra; Ole Schmidt. Danacord DACOCD 513 (Denmark) 11B066 $17.98

NIELS VIGGO BENTZON (b.1919): Partita, Op. 38, Toccata, Op. 10 (Bentzon [piano] rec. 11/1948), SVEND ERIK TARP (1908-1994): Piano Concerto in C, Op. 39 (Egil Harder [piano], Copenhagen Philharmonic Orchestra; Svend Christian Felumb rec. 10/1944), JØRGEN JERSILD (b.1913): 3 Pièces en Concert (Folmer Jensen [piano] rec. 1949), FINI HENRIQUES (1867-1940): 6 Pieces from The Picture Book, 2 Pieces from Erotik, Op. 15, The Song Bird, The Turkey Cock (Jensen [piano] rec. 1941), JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH (1685-1750): Fantasia in A Minor, BWV 922, Toccata in D, BWV 912 (Bentzon [piano] rec. mid-50s, LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN (11770-1827): Sonata in E, Op. 109 (Jensen [piano] rec. 1970), WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART (1756-1791): Sonata in B Flat, K.281 (Jensen rec. 1958), JOHANNES BRAHMS (1833-1897): 3 Intermezzi, Op. 117 (Jensen rec. 1963). This collection of archival recordings by "Three Great Danish Pioneer Pianists" contains a full CD of unusual repertoire with Bentzon playing two of his own pieces including a particularly grand and imposing Partita from 1945. Tarp's piano concerto was composed in 1942-43 and is elegant and poetic (only 14 minutes in length it is almost better described as a concertino). All of Henriques' works here are inspired by the world of children and are in a fluent, pleasing late Romantic idiom (composed between 1899 and 1911). 2 CDs. Special price. Danacord DACOCD 521/22 (Denmark) 11B067 $29.98

ERNÖ DOHNÁNYI (1877-1960): Konzertstück for Cello and Orchestra, Op. 12, Cello Sonata in B Flat Minor, Op. 8, Ruralia Hungarica for Cello and Piano, Op. 32d. The Konzertstück dates from 1904 and is a single-movement work of smaller ambition than a concerto but with plenty of rich, warm ideas, lyrical in its outer sections which enfold a haunting slow section. The sonata (1899) is a young man's work: fervent and heroic in a grandiloquent, Lisztian form with virtuosic melodic material juxtaposed with affecting lyrical passages. Maria Kliegel (cello), Jenö Jandó (piano), Nicolaus Esterházy SInfonia; Michael Halász. Naxos 8.554468 (New Zealand) 11B068 $5.98

RICCARDO PICK-MANGIAGALLI (1882-1949): Preludio e toccata, Op. 27, GIANFRANCESCO MALIPIERO (1882-1973): Risonanze, ALFREDO CASELLA (1883-1947): Sinfonia, Arioso, Toccata, Op. 59, GINO GORINI (1914-1990): Ricerare e Toccata, Preludio delle Campane. All these works are immensely appealing, whether in the late-19th century style of Pick-Mangiagalli - a gentle salon-ish introduction prefacing a lively romantic toccata - or the impressionistic Malipiero work. Casella's is the biggest and toughest work here, with the composer's familiar neoclassical clear-sightedness exposing some unexpectedly complex psychological depths. The Gorini pieces achieve great atmosphere, with the Toccata a "wild ride" of nocturnal intensity, while the Preludio is a marvellously expressive work, of our time but nostalgic and drenched in romantic color. Dimitri Romano (piano). Rivo Alto CRR 9916 (Italy) 11B069 $16.98

JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH (1685-1750)/LEOPOLD GODOWSKY (1873-1938): Cello Suites in D Minor, BWV 1008, in C, BWV 1009 and in C Minor, BWV 1011. These wonderful transcriptions, like the three Bach violin sonatas which Godowsky also recomposed for his own instrument, show Godowsky's creative powers at their very highest level. Less overtly virtuosic (and for the most part, less terrifyingly difficult) than the violin transcriptions, and (obviously) less in the nature of technical studies than the notorious (while exhilarating and musically fascinating) Chopin study etudes, these cello suites emerge sounding as though they could only have been written for the keyboard, and as dignified and involving compositions in their own right; surely, therefore, one of the most significant achievements of the transcriber's art. Carlo Grante (piano). Music & Arts CD-1046 (U.S.A.) 11B070 $16.98

JOSEPH ACHRON (1886-1943): Première Suite en Style Ancien, Op. 21, Violin Sonata, Op. 29, Children's Suite (transcr. Heifetz), Prelude, Op. 13, Stimmungen, Op. 32, Hebrew Melody, Op. 33, Hebrew Lullaby, Op. 35, Les Sylphides, Op. 18. the Hebrew Melody, Pieces and perhaps even the Stimmungen will be familiar to collectors from their recordings and performances by Heifetz but this new release offers three world premiere recordings in addition: the "First Suite in Ancient Style" of 1906 which reinterprets baroque textures with modern harmony and violinistic effects; the 1910 sonata, another student piece in German late Romantic style and Heifetz' 1934 eight transcriptions of the 20 pieces of the Children's Suite (1922) - originally a vocal work influenced by Hebrew cantillation modes as well as French Impressionism. Miriam Kramer (violin), Simon Over (piano). ASV Quicksilva QS 6235 (England) 11B071 $11.98

CHINESE VIOLIN MUSIC - Jolly Meetings, The Moonshine over the Mountain Pass (Yang Bao Zhi), Madrigal (Sha Han Kun), The Deputies of Li are Going to Beijing (He Dong), Musical Poem by the Sea (Qin Yong Cheng), Morning of Miao Mountain, Sunshine over Tashkurgan (Chen Gang), Celebration of a Bumper Harvest (Zhang Jin Pin), The Er Quan Lake Mirroring Bright (Hua Yan Jun), Joy of Sight Recovery (Li Zhi Li), Talking about Surprising Things, Song of Homesickness (Ma Si Cong), Fisherman's Serenade (Li Guo Chuang). This is a fascinating and wide-ranging collection of music from China which ranges geographically to Mongolia and the Muslim populations of Central Asia. Some pieces are based on ancient folk melodies while others date from the Cultural Revolution and had to "serve the revolution" and meet the dictates of socialist realism. Many of these composers studied in Europe with the net gain that, far from being prettified transcriptions of music written for folk instruments, these are involving, well-structured compositions which repay the interested listener. Hu Kun (violin), Olga Sitkovetsky (piano). ASV DCA 1068 (England) 11B072 $16.98

WOJCIECH KILAR (b.1932): The Ninth Gate - Original Film Soundtrack. This Polish composer has recently become well-known in this country due to his film scores and he supplies another dark, threatening, brooding one for Roman Polanski's soon-to-be-released The Ninth Gate. Sorry, don't know what the film is about (although there is a pentacle in the art-work, so dark and uncanny doings seem near) and the booklet is mum but the music is compelling (and thunderously recorded to boot) anyway. Sumi Jo (soprano), City of Prague Chorus and Philharmonic; Stepan Konicek. Silva America SSD 1103 (U.S.A.) 11B073 $16.98

ARTHUR SULLIVAN (1842-1900): Kenilworth: A Masque of the Days of Queen Elizabeth, Ode on the Opening of the Colonial and Indian Exhibition, Ode for the Occasion of Laying the Foundation Stone of the Imperial Institute, The Long Day Closes, Te Deum Laudamus - A Thanksgiving for Victory. Taking up 43 minutes of this enterprising new release is an 1864 cantata based on Walter Scott with a scene from The Merchant of Venice embedded and with other poetry by a contemporary of the composer's. Sullivan's personal lyrical voice comes through in the orchestral interludes and in the setting of the Shakespeare although the rest is never less than interesting - particularly as an example of the music commissioned for great royal or national occasions in Victorian England. The remaining pieces on this well-filled disc are in the same vein. Alison Roddy (soprano), Leigh Woolf (mezzo), Stephen Brown (tenor), Leon Berger (baritone), Oxford Company of Musicians, Oxford Pro Musica Singers, Kidlington Concert Brass; Michael Smedley. Symposium 1247 (England) 11B074 $17.98

JOAN TOWER (b.1938): 5 Fanfares for the Uncommon Woman, Concerto for Orchestra, Duets for Orchestra. The concerto for orchestra is the major work here, a large orchestral canvas of a half-hour's duration which uses the orchestra boldly and with Tower's characteristic vividness of color. Tower is a conservative, eschewing serial techniques in favour of a straightforward harmonic language in which occasional apparent references to Bartók - not entirely surprising in a work with this title - and Shostakovich do not seem out of place. Big, bold and energetic music to be enjoyed, not analysed. Colorado Symphony Orchestra; Marin Alsop. Koch International Classics 3-7469-3 (U.S.A.) 11B075 $16.98

JOHN MCCABE (b.1939): Symphony No.4 "Of Time and the River", Flute Concerto. McCabe's fourth symphony is a fine specimen of the English symphonic tradition. McCabe is somewhat of a traditionalist in his musical thinking in any case, and this symphony looks back to its antecedents - Vaughan Williams, and (especially) Britten, the latter more in the textural and timbral use of the orchestra than in symphonic development. The composer controls the ebb and flow of tension within his tightly organised structure with masterly skill, and the work ends on a questioning note, rather than with an obvious resolution. The flute concerto is a lighter-textured work, in which the mellifluous and euphonious solo part is of paramount importance. Emily Beynon (flute), BBC Symphony Orchestra; Vernon Hadley. Hyperion CDA 67089 (England) 11B076 $17.98

JOSÉ SEREBRIER (b.1938): Partita (Symphony No. 2), Fantasia for Strings, Sonata for Violin Solo, Winterreise. An astonishingly versatile musician of great accomplishments, Serebrier is best known as a conductor (his recording of Ives' fourth symphony is probably still the best available, among other achievements). He here reveals himself to be a considerable composer in a tonal, 20th-century idiom that will appeal to lovers of the Scandinavian and American symphonists of thiss century. The Partita opens with a nonchalantly dancing movement using Latin rhythms, which is followed by a powerful and dramatic funeral march with echoes of Shostakovich, and perhaps Lutoslawski. The little interlude which follows is like a shocked reflection on the trauma of the previous movement, and the finale is a vigorous and exuberaant fugue, in which you may play "spot the quotation" if you wish. You can play this game again in Winterreise - or you can just enjoy the superb craftsmanship and expressive intensity of the music on the whole CD, which only narrowly avoided being our cover item this month. Gonzalo Acosta (violin), London Philharmonic Orchestra; José Serebrier. Reference Recordings RR-90CD (U.S.A.) 11B077 $16.98

MARIJN SIMONS (b.1982): Cuddly Animals - Violin Concerto No. 1, Op. 13, String Quartet No. 2, Op. 12, Capriccio for Stan and Ollie for 9 Players, Op. 11a. Given that Simons is only 17 now, he presumably counts as some sort of child prodigy. And so the music would appear to demonstrate. The violin concerto is a set of five humorous character-pieces of considerable charm and covering a wider range of expression than their titles might suggest. The quartet is perhaps more obviously a young man's work, doing many of the things a contemporary string quartet is supposed to do with great accomplishment. The Laurel and Hardy tribute is priceless; if the great comic duo were alive and making silent movies today this music would accompany it to perfection. Marijn Simons (violin), Holland Wind Players; Jeroen Weierink, Mondriaan Quartet. Etcetera KTC 1219 (Netherlands) 11B078 $17.98

JEAN-MARIE SIMONIS (b.1931): Incantations, Op. 53, Historiettes, Op. 24, Pastourelle, Op. 28, Évocations, Op. 29, Notturno, Op. 33, Le secret des images, Op. 53. There is a romanticism about these works which suggests that, although they are not conventionally tonal, they arose from an alternative history of 20th-century music than the one which is usually taught - the one that starts in Vienna in 1923. There is much of Ravel, or even of Szymanowski, about these pieces, though they have an air of unformed mystery about them which appears to be a preoccupation of the composer; one seldom feels that there is any solid ground beneath one's feet here, and even in the (relatively scarce) faster music, shifts of register and harmony contribute to a shadowy insubstantiality which is as intriguing as it is doubtless intentional. Thèrése Malengreau (piano). Cyprès CYP4605 (Belgium) 11B079 $17.98

CARL ORFF (1895-1982): Prometheus. Orff's reaction to a misunderstanding of Richard Strauss led him, in his operatic works, in a completely new direction in twentieth-century opera, one in which declamation of text in an almost theatrical context, often without musical accompaniment as such (meaning that the two alternate, but seldom overlap) became the predominant factor. Prometheus is the most extreme example of this style, with the orchestra reduced to a huge battery of unpitched percussion and little besides) used to provide a pounding rhythmic setting, a stage set constructed of great blocks of sound, before which the principal characters declaim their parts - in the original ancient Greek, again to increase directness of contact between the text and the audience. The effect is a monochromatism in extreme contrast; powerful black-and-white images, disturbingly stark, as opposed to the layers of color and texture in the Wagnerian/Straussian tradition. It certainly works for this subject, conjuring a frightening archaism and timelessness, appropriate for the passionless cruelty of the gods; whether it works so well for human emotions is open to question . . . but that is not the issue here. 2 CDs. English synopsis with translations of selected passages. Roland Hermann, Colette Lorand, Fritz Uhl, Josef Greindl, Women's Choir and Symphony Orchestra of the Bavarian Radio; Rafael Kubelik. Orfeo d'Or C 526 992 1 (Germany) 11B080 $29.98

MORTON FELDMAN (1926-1987): Crippled Symmetry. Feldman's mature style, in which duration becomes an important characteristic of the way the music actually sounds, is well exemplified in this relatively modest (at one and a half hours) example. The instrumental fragments which make up the whole are invested with a significance which they could never attain other than in this temporally expanded micro-universe. Staring at a single word on a page until it loses its meaning and becomes an abstract icon of itself, or concentrating minutely on a tapestry to the point at which a single thread or flaw takes on an apparent meaning, might be the nearest visual analogies; Feldman is the composer who has best translated these hypersensations into music. 2 CDs for the price of 1. The California EAR Unit. Bridge 9092 A/B (U.S.A.) 11B081 $16.98

GEORGE CRUMB (b.1929): Star-Child - A Parable for Antiphonal Children's Voices, Male Speaking Choir, Bell Ringers and Large Orchestra, Mundus Canis for Guitar and Percussion, Three Early Songs for Soprano and Piano. This CD, issued to celebrate Crumb's 70th birthday, should be essential listening for anyone interested in originality in contemporary music. Along with Xenakis and very few others, Crumb has genuinely created a sound-world which is uniquely his own, and Star-Child, which must be one of his largest-scale and most impressive works, gives free rein to his prodigious imagination and achieves a thrilling result. Unpitched voices and Crumb's familiar shimmering multiple-percussion effects weave a complex fabric around, through and over seductive string textures, while interruptions from snarling brass and volcanic orchestral tutti make this apocalyptic work ith its final resolution into light a fitting parable for our time. Susan Narucki (soprano), Warsaw Boys' Choir, Warsaw Philharmonic Choir and Orchestra; Thomas Conlin, David Starobin (guitar), George Crumb (percussion), Ann Crumb (soprano), George Crumb (piano). Bridge 9095 (U.S.A.) 11B082 $16.98

TOSHI ICHIYANAGI (b.1933): String Quartet No. 3 "Inner Landscape", TOSHIRO SARUYA (b.1960): Aither, the beorht, JOJI YUASA (b.1929): Projection for string quartet II, TORU TAKEMITSU (1930-1996): A Way a Lone. These composers share a musical language that permits microtonal intervals and complex or meterless rhythmic constructions. All these quartets seek to illustrate some concept which goes beyond the physical or temporal world, and the intimate and flexible medium of the string quartet is perhaps the ideal medium for such philosophical exploration in musical terms. New Arts String Quartet. Camerata 30 CM-557 (Japan) 11B083 $18.98

RAFFAELE D'ALESSANDRO: Sonatina giocosa for Clarinet and Piano, Op. 6A, Flute Sonata, Op. 46, Oboe Sonata, Op. 67, Suite for Solo Clarinet, Op. 64, Sonatine for Solo Flute, Op. 19, Récitatif et Valse-Impromptu for Oboe and Piano, Op.20. These chamber works for winds share an uncommon degree of craftsmanship and a light touch; never seeking to plumb the depths, they are lively, entertaining works, of which the delightful clarinet sonata is a particularly fine example. Dance rhythms abound, and a neoclassical purity of line, undoubtedly derived from the composer's venerated Mozart. D'Alessandro was highly regarded by his contemporaries, including Lipatti, and it is easy to see why. Various artists. Gallo CD-922 (Switzerland) 11B084 $18.98

SAMUEL ZYMAN (b.1956): Cello Sonata, WILLIAM BOLCOM (b.1938): Capriccio, DAVID STOCK (b.1939): Refuge, REZA VALI (b.1952): Folk Songs (Set No. 12c), LOWELL LIEBERMANN (b.1961): Cello Sonata No. 1. The common thread running through this recital is that all the works are very approachable, though obviously of our time. The Zyman is very romantic indeed, tinged with jazz; the Stock brightly energetic and insistent, and the Bolcom, more sophisticated, manages to sound the most "popular" of all (a peculiar gift that Mr Bolcom possesses to a greater degree than most modern composers). Vali's two Folk Songs are gently lyrical, and Liebermann's early sonata, while treading the limits of tonality, is an accessibly dramatic work blending concision and fire. Rajan Krishnaswami (cello), Mark Salman (piano). Ambassador ARC 1022 (U.S.A.) 11B085 $16.98

LOUISE TALMA (1906-1996): Piano Sonata No. 1, 6 Etudes, 3 Duologues for Clarinet and Piano, Piano Sonata No. 2, Hallelujah in the Form of a Toccata, 7 Episodes for Flute, Viola and Piano. The journey from neoclassical tonality, usually with a Bartókian edge, through strict serialism to a freer, tonality-inflected serial technique is one which has occupied many composers of our century. Talma is one such, with throughout a tough, individual uncompromising voice which is strongly in evidence regardless of the style of the particular piece in question. Never a note is wasted, and paradoxically, the works from her most astringently serial period possess as directly communicative a vocabulary, and harmonic acessibility as the first sonata, which is not based on note-rows. Throughout her output, Talma's music has a vitality, an energy which is most appealing, even as the musical language remains uncompromisingly rigorous. Teresa Bogard (piano) and other artists. CRI CD 833(U.S.A.) 11B086 $16.98

SERGE KAUFMANN: Chant concertant for Violin and String Orchestra, Suite Yiddish for Cello and Piano, Selah - Rhapsody for String Quintet, Adamah - Melody for Violin and String Orchestra, 10 Duos for 2 Violins, L'Eau Retrouvée - Cantata for Baritone, Chorus, Clarinet and String Orchestra. As the program notes make abundantly clear, song is at the heart of Kaufmann's æsthetic - a characteristic shared with all too few contemporary composers. But this is not a disc of songs; what is referred to here is the element of singing present in all music which relates it to the human body, and thence to the human soul. The "Yiddish Suite" for cello and piano suggests transcriptions of vocal music of the synagogue or from Jewish folk music - in fact it is not - and the works for violin and strings both suggest a cantor in a fully liturgical setting illuminated by the glowing modal harmonies; there is something of the best of Hovhaness about this music, though it is more elegantly constructed and concisely expressed. Beautiful and profoundly moving. Hubert Chachereau, Cécile Moreau (violins), Philippe Pennanguer (cello), Marie-Josèphe Truys (piano), Ensemble Vocal Melodia, Orchestre Bernard Calmel; Bernard Calmel. Pavane ADW 7420 (Belgium) 11B087 $10.98

ALAIN KROTENBERG (b.1956): Symphonie concertante for Oboe, Cello, Piano and Orchestra, 3 Mélodies for Mezzo-Soprano and Orchestra, Shoah for Clarinet and String Quartet. Krotenberg's music is accessibly neo-romantic, even sounding at times somewhat new-age derived or cinematic in style. The works here exude a self-confident craftsmanship, and in the Mélodies, the composer serves his texts admirably and with great character. The Symphonie concertante is relatively genial and easy-going, while Shoah, as the title suggests, is a darker work, deeply felt and introspective, though still in the approachable, readily communicative idiom of the other pieces. Hélène Devilleneuve (oboe), Daniel Raclot (cello), Dimitri Saroglou (piano), Catherine Cardin (mezzo), European Symphony Orchestra; Dominique Fanal, Jean-Pascal Post (clarinet), Mari Yasuda, Mihai Ritter (violins), Christophe Gaugue (viola), Daniel Raclot (cello). De Plein Vent DPV CD 99100 (France) 11B088 $14.98

SIMON BAINBRIDGE (b.1952): Ad Ora Incerta - Four Orchestral Songs from Primo Levi, Four Primo Levi Settings. These two works both set four (different) poems of Primo Levi - and given the intensity of Levi's expression and the subtext of his works, one cannot imagine that the task of setting them to music was an easy one. Bainbridge has risen to the challenge superbly, and Ad Ora Incerta may well be judged among his finest works to date. Maintaining an ominous orchestral texture in which much of the important material is given to the lowest voices in the ensemble, the mezzo (an inspired choice, for intimacy of emotional expression without excessive declamatory fervor) intones Levi's despairing texts in a cool, detached manner calculated to involve the listener, and chill to the bone. The four songs with ensemble share this paradoxical juxtaposition of detachment and terrifying first-person experience, serving, as all good word-setting in music should, to amplify and enhance the effect of the text, not to interfere with it. Not easy listening, but definitely important listening. Susan Bickley (mezzo), Kim Walker (bassoon), BBC Symphony Orchestra, Nash Ensemble; Martyn Brabbins. NMC D059 (England) 11B089 $17.98

DAVID WARD-STEINMAN (b.1936): Prisms and Reflections for Piano and Piano Interior, Cinnabar for Viola and Piano, Sonata for Piano Fortified, Intersections II: Borobudur for Fortified Piano and Percussion, Night Winds (Woodwind Quintet No. 2). Ward-Steinman has a prodigious sonic imagination, as his prepared, or "fortified" piano textures demonstrate. Interestingly, though, these effects, or the varied percussion in Borobudur for instance, never become an end in themselves, as the primary musical argumant is carried in a very broadly tonal language using modal and non-diatonic scales, some elements of dodecaphony and a strong sense of "functional" harmonic progression. In other words, the unconventional instrumental sounds, together with the wide-ranging tonality and rhythms that vary between complex and multi-layered and simple and directly propulsive, have all been absorbed into a complex yet cohesive vocabulary capable of considerable feats of expression - a quite remarkable achievement. David Burge, David Ward-Steinman (pianos), Karen Elaine (viola), Arioso Wind Quintet. Fleur de Son FDS 57935 (U.S.A.) 11B090 $16.98

ELLIOTT CARTER (b.1908): Pastoral for Clarinet and Piano, Wind Quintet, Cello Sonata, 8 Etudes and a Fantasy for Wind Quintet. These early works of Carter's only hint at the layers, polyrhythms and textures to come; for the most part they are almost romantically expressive, especially the lovely cello sonata of 1948, with its cello part out of Shostakovich, accompanied by an angular piano part in uneasily shifting meters. The woodwind etudes allow us a glimpse into the composer's workshop, and demonstrate the easy virtuosity of compositional technique on which Carter has always been able to rely. This disc provides an easy way in to Carter's great achievement as one of the towering figures of our century, and a welcome catalogue-filler for those already attuned to his achievements. Chicago Pro Muisca. Cedille CDR 90000 048 (U.S.A.) 11B091 $16.98

PAUL HINDEMITH (1895-1963): Sonata, OTHMAR SCHOECK (1886-1957): Sonata, Op. 41, LUBOS SLUKA: Sonata, VÁCLAV REHAK (b.1933): Sonnet III, STEFAN HEUCKE (b.1959): Sonate, Op. 23, BURKHARDT SÖLL (b.1944): Lumen. Although the Schoeck also exists in the composer's own versions for cello or bassoon, it is ideally suited to the sweet timbre and agility of the bass clarinet. Late-romantic and consonant in style, it is an appealing and intricate work with a few surprising twists and turns along the way. The other works here, even those considerably more modern than the Schoeck, also exploit the lyrical possibilities suggested by the instrument, and all the pieces here are approachable and most enjoyable. Henri Bok (bass clarinet), Rainer Klaas (piano). Clarinet Classics CC0026 (England) 11B092 $17.98

JEAN-LOUIS ROBERT (1948-1979): Aquatilis for Orchestra, Lithoïde VIII for Brass Quintet, Domino for Piano and 2 Percussionists. A student of Henri Pousseur, Robert, whose life was tragically cut short by a car accident at the age of 31, was already emerging as an original composer of unusual technique and expressive ability. Traces of Pousseur's scintillant, almost extravagant, orchestral technique, Messiaen's harmonies, the large-scale, quasi-Romantic forms of the 19th century, and the unabashed modernity of Boulez are all evident, but as well-absorbed influences, not obvious derivations. Aquatilis is especially impressive, an enormous collage in which strongly contrasting material arises organically in direct confrontation. The theme of growth from inarticulate beginnings to complex interaction seems to have been a preoccupation of the composer; how sad that his untimely demise prevented his inevitable development from his own impressively potent beginnings to the full expressiveness of maturity. Liège Philharmonic Orchestra; Pierre Bartholomée, Pierre Cox, Edmond Compère (trumpets), Michel Bassine (horn), Alain Janti, Octave Rasschaert (trombones), Georges-Elie Octors, Philippe Herr (percussion), Pierre Bartholomée (piano). Cyprès CYP7606 (Belgium) 11B093 $18.98

GEORGI MINTCHEV (b.1939): SentiMetal - Concerto for Cello and Orchestra, Fahrenheit 451 - Symphonic Suite from the Ballet. SentiMetal is a cello concerto in memoriam Lutoslawski, and in its lyrical yet unquestionably modern solo line it recalls the Polish master, though Mintchev's frequently ostinato-driven motoric accompaniments are less complex than Lutoslawski's. Fahrenheit 451 is a ballet score after Ray Bradbury's dystopian novel of the same title, and through music associated with characters in the novel, Mintchev illustrates aspects of this disturbing parable of anti-humanity in dramatic music which appears to be related none too distantly to Le Sacre at times. Michael Muller (cello), Netherlands Radio Symphony Orchestra; Micha Hamel, Bulgarian National Radio Symphony Orchestra; Milen Natchev. Gega GD 204 (Bulgaria) 11B094 $16.98

IANNIS XENAKIS (b.1922): Volume 4 - Evryali for Piano, Dikhthas for Violin and Piano, Palimpsest for Piano, 6 Drums, Winds and Strings, Herma for Piano, Mists for Piano, A.r. (Hommage à Ravel) for Piano. Those familiar with Xenakis' music will need little introduction to what is to be heard here - nor, presumably, any encouragement to add this disc to their collections. Tremendous kinetic drive, pounding, motoric ostinato rhythms, clusters, complex polyrhythmic textures and the etched, detailed precision resulting from the composer's mathematical determination of his extravagantly energetic, viscerally impacting creations. The works with instruments besides the piano - the violin, weaving a filigree web of microtonal double-stops, glissandi and complicated patterning, or the ensemble in Palimpsest, setting the piano monologue in fluid strata of sound - serve to confirm Xenakis' position as one of the true originals of 20th-century music; a composer who genuinely sounds like no-one else. Aki Takahashi (piano), Society for New Music; Charles Peltz. Mode 80 (U.S.A.) 11B095 $16.98

TOKUHIDE NIMI: String Quartet, Garden in the Light for Piano Quintet, Ame-No-Kaguyama for Baritone and Piano Four Hands, The Soul Bird for Flute and Piano, Shape of the Wind for Vibraphone. Nimi seeks to achieve spiritual ends through his music, which explores timbres, overtones and abstract shapes in a manner somewhat akin to the New Age composers; a sort of abstract spiritualism. Gestures and the resonances arising from them are of more importance here than musical structure. Various Artists. Camerata 30CM-525 (Japan) 11B096 $18.98

TAKASHI YOSHIMATSU (b.1953): Forgetful Angel I, Op. 6, Forgetful Angel II, Op. 8, Forgetful Angel III, Op. 24, 4 Little Dream Songs, Alignment Romance, Op. 28b/3, Melting Dream, Op. 30a, Dream Colored Mobile, Op. 58. The pieces on this disc are all the result of a long collaboration between the composer and the harmonica virtuoso who appears as soloist here. It was a concert given by Sakimoto that gave Yoshimatsu an early opportunity and impetus as composer, and in the years since he has written many works featuring the surprising range of the harmonica, in various exotic instrumental combinations. There are elements of many musical styles here, though, typically, Yoshimatsu writes accessible, consonant music, with a tendency towards new age and popular idioms. What this music doesn't sound like is the stereotype of harmonica music, which many music lovers may find hard to take seriously. Joe Sakimoto (harmonica) and various artists. Camerata 30CM-556 (Japan) 11B097 $18.98

HANS ULRICH ENGELMANN (b.1921): Les Chansons, Op. 47 for Singer, Speaker, Flute, Clarinet, Viola, Cello and Piano, mini-music to Siegfried Palm, Op. 38 for Cello, per Luigi, Op. 69 for Flute, Clarinet, Cello, Percussion and Tape, Black Invocations, Op. 58 for Trumpet, Saxophone, Trombone, Percussion, Double-Bass and Piano, Mémoires, Op. 62 for Guitar. Engelmann is a composer who has always been concerned with experimentation, with expaanding the limits of conventional music-making, for example through the adoption of graphic notation at one point in his career (exemplified here by the solo cello work for Siegfried Palm), which became an end in itself, growing out of the composer's work as a visual artist. He also employs electronics, tape and the like. However, the surprise is that the music does not sound all that "experimental" in the sense that, for example, Lachenmann's does. Clear open textures and surprisingly consonant material predominate, with gentle, pleasing sounds, even if in unusual combinations. The jazz-suite really sounds like a kind of collage of jazz impressions, and makes an immediate, direct appeal. Mutare Ensemble. Melisma 07173 (Germany) 11B098 $17.98

DIMITRI TIOMKIN (1894-1979): Suite from The Guns of Navarone, A President's Country, Rhapsody of Steel, Wild is the Wind, The Fall of the Roman Empire (Overture and Pax Romana). The rarity here is the 22-minute score to the 1959 cartoon documentary Rhapsody of Steel produced by U.S. Steel which gave free rein to Tiomkin's lyrical dynamism and quasi-primitive momentum and energy. Think of Prokofiev's second symphony or ballet The Age of Steel... A President's Country was a 1966 short designed to show off southwestern Texas and the composer incorporated themes from The Alamo, Rawhide, Giant, Red River, High Noon and Duel in the Sun. Digital recordings made in 1984 and 1985. David King (organ), Royal College of Music Orchestra; David Willcocks. Citadel STC 77128 (U.S.A.) 11B099 $14.98

CARL MICHAEL ZIEHRER (1843-1922): Vol. 2 - Herreinspaziert, Op. 518, Im Fluge, Op. 78, Heimatsgefühle, Op. 436, Endlich allein, Op. 390, In der Sommerfrische, Op. 318, Fächer-Polonaise, Op. 525, Matrosen-Polka, Op. 449, Tolles Mädel, Op. 526, Mein Feld is die Welt, Op. 499, Lieber Bismarck, schaukle nicht, Op. 465, Sie brav!, Op. 522. Razumovsky Sinfonia; Michael Dittrich. Marco Polo 8.2253815 (New Zealand) 11B100 $14.98

THE TWILIGHT ZONE - 40th Anniversary Collection

Music by Bernard Herrmann (CD 1), Jerry Goldsmith (CD 2), Marius Constant, Nathan van Cleave, Nathan Scott & Rene Garriguenc (CD 3), Fred Steiner, Leonard Rosenman, Jeff Alexander & Franz Waxman (CD 4). 4 mid-price CDs. Original Soundtrack Recordings - meaning mono - but a small price to pay to revel in the memories and associations this music and the well-illustrated booklet will dredge up! Silva America SSD 2000 (U.S.A.) 11B101 $47.98

IGOR STRAVINSKY (1882-1971): Les Noces, WITOLD LULOSLAWSKI (1913-1994): Variations on a Theme of Paganini, SERGEI RACHMANINOV (1873-1943): Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, GEORGE FRIDERIC HANDEL (1685-1759): The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba, CHARLES-MARIE WIDOR (1844-1937): Toccata from Organ Symphony No. 5, SIR ARTHUR SULLIVAN (1842-1900): Pineapple Poll (arr. Mackerras). "Music for the pianola" probably suggests to most people nowadays one of two things; a branch of domestic musical history redolent of aspidistra plants and tea in the drawing room, or Conlon Nancarrow. Here is a fascinating, and tremendously entertaining, third route. Music for the pianola is "written" by perforating rolls directly; no human performance is required as part of the process. Consequently a pianola transcription can contain every note of a two-piano work (as in the case of the Lutoslawski), or wild flights of humanly unexecutable technique (as dotted throughout Lawson's brilliant and stunningly musicianly arrangements and performances). As at the time of performance the player can influence aspects of interpretation in real time, these performances have none of the mechanical quality that one might suspect (or that mars mechanically reproduced 'live' performers via the player-piano). Anybody who doubts the musical validity of this performance technique would do well to rethink in the light of this disc. The Stravinsky is the composer's own pianola transcription, realized by Pleyel's head of their pianola roll division. The composer was drawn to the pianola as performer as he believed it approximated closely to the interpretation that he imagined was his ideal. Lawson's own works (all original transcriptions made in the last decade) are skillful in the extreme, and in the case of the Sullivan/Mackerras, hair-, eyebrow- and roof-raising! Rex Lawson (pianola). Aeolus 1001 (England) 11B102 $17.98

MAX STEINER (1888-1971): The United States Pictures Scores - Distant Drums, My Girl Tisa, Cloak and Dagger, South of St. Louis. Steiner composed these scores between 1946 and 1951, a period when his name appeared in credits up to 12 times a year! This new label has enterprisingly dug out the original soundtracks from the Max Steiner Collection at Brigham Young University's Film Music Archives and restored them. Full-color booklet packed with information and detailed descriptions of the various cues. Original Soundtrack Recordings. 2 CDs. Mono. Screen Archives Entertainment SAE-CSR-0001 (U.S.A.) 11B103 $35.98