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Fritz Brun

Symphony No. 9

FRITZ BRUN (1878-1959): Symphony No. 9 in F, Aus dem Buch Hiob. Brun wrote his final three symphonies in retirement in the south of Switzerland, on Lake Lugano, which relaxed, pastoral setting tells a lot about certain aspects of this penultimate symphony. In five movements, the work is almost more a symphonic suite and Brun furnished a detailed program for each of them. A lovely, pastoral Prelude with hints of folk music is followed by a Serenade (group of young people playing music in a noctural parkscape), The Call of Love (two lovers converse intensely and amorously), In the Circle of Friends (a pub scene with drinking, arguing artists) ... sounds like Richard Strauss' Sinfonia domestica, another artist conceitedly telling us every personal detail because he is sooo fascinating? But Strauss was 39 when he did that and Brun was 72 in 1950 when he finished this piece and he had more transcendental things on his mind. He was looking back at the pleasures of a long life but also looking ahead - the fifth movement, as long at 15 minutes as any two of the first ones put together, is titled Faith and Doubt - Praise of God and of Nature and has a quote from the poet Matthias Claudius appended. This is an internal dialogue whose antecedents would be much closer to Mahler than to Strauss. Using a normal-sized orchestra but colorfully and transparently instrumented, this is a work which will more than repay multiple hearings. The coupling is an 18-minute tone-poem from 1916, "From the Book of Job", which depicts Job's happiness, downfall and ultimate salvation with more than a bit of Brahmsian influence. Moscow Symphony Orchestra; Adriano. Guild GMCD 7306 (Switzerland) 10I001 $16.98

Number of exclusive items (Ø) in this month's catalogue: 4


1. There has been a major delay in getting a second shipment in of last month's cover item, the Roentgen symphonies. The first was impounded by customs for incomplete paperwork, the second buried in a wall collapse at the distributor's warehouse. I'm still waiting as of Oct. 1 but hopeful that back-orders will be filled with your October orders.

2. For those of you following the death throes, Tower's bankruptcy auction date is Oct. 5 - before most of you will be reading this. Best place to look on-line for info about who buys them and what they plan to do with them are the web-sites of the Los Angeles Times or New York Times.

www. recordsinternational.com e-mail: sales@recordsinternational.com

EDUARD ERDMANN (1896-1958): Symphony No. 4, Op. 20, Monogramme - Eine kleine Serenade for Orchestra, Op. 22, Ständchen for Small Orchestra, Op. 16. Erdmann's symphony cycle is completed with this 1947 work (not premiered until 1954, by Schmidt-Isserstedt) which is certainly his most personal, deeply-considered and cerebral composition. Deriving almost all of its material from four notes, the symphony has an austere lyricism which verges at times on melancholy - often the scoring is reduced to a handful of musing instruments, usually in the bass range - with a relatively nimble scherzo appearing as the central episode of the slow second movement. The Monogramme (1955) are very much in the same, highly refined style but much briefer in their discourse while the much earlier Ständchen (1930), coming at the end of the period in which the expressionism of his teacher, Tiessen, was most evident, is a more instantly approachable piece, often showing a bluff, somewhat heavy Germanic humor but also quite delicately orchestrated overall. Brandenburg State Philharmonic Frankfurt; Israel Yinon. CPO 777 175 (Germany) 10I002 $15.98

GEORGE ANTHEIL (1900-1959): Dreams, Serenade No. 2, Piano Concerto No. 2. Although cpo issued a new recording of this concerto just a few months ago, the other two works appear on CD for the first time. Dreams (1935) is a 28-minute ballet score in nine sections, written at Balanchine's request (the work had previously existed with a score by Milhaud, which the choreographer jettisoned). Solid, easily approached ballet music - no bad-boy antics at this later stage of Antheil's career - with such titles as "Polka", "Acrobat", "The King's March" and "Can-Can"..... and "Rat" (!). The 22-minute, three-movement Serenade is from 1948, written while Antheil was working in Hollwood, has a driving sense of narrative and mood which stems from motives which could easily have come from a film score. The same sort of feel is in his symphonies of the late 40s, and the Serenade fits right in with them, especially in the long, sustained line of its first movement. Guy Livingston (piano), Philadelphia Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra; Daniel Spalding. New World 80647 (U.S.A.) 10I003 $16.98

JOSEPH JONGEN (1873-1953): Suite for Orchestra and Solo Viola, Op. 48, TIBOR SERLY (1906-1978): Viola Concerto, JEAN FRANÇAIX (1912-1997): Rhaspodie for Viola and Small Orchestra. Jongen's gorgeous suite, written between 1915-19, mostly while he was in war exile in England (where he played chamber music with Lionel Tertis), will remind many listeners of English music of the same period. The hint of pastoralism is here and there, suggestions of folk music, long lines of achingly beautiful melody... the composer may be from Belgium but Anglophiles should not hesitate! Françaix's ten-minute piece from 1946 opens with an emotionally neutral Andantino which, as you would expect, is soon blown away by an action-packed Allegro which bounces between the circus and the music hall. Serly, who completed Bartók's third piano concerto and viola concerto, has had his short Rhapsody recorded by Naxos but this may be the first time you'll have been able to hear his viola concerto. Written in 1929 (premiered in 1935 with Bartók in the audience), it shows some evidence of his studies with Kodály but the most interesting aspect of it - aside from its instant attractiveness in general - is how much influence it may have had on Bartók's much later viola concerto (instead of how much Serly may have changed in the late Bartók's manuscript in preparing it for publication). Violist Thompson provides excellent notes and four striking similarities for study. Marcus Thompson (viola), Czech National Symphony Orchestra; Paul Freeman. Centaur CRC 2788 (U.S.A.) 10I004 $16.98

SIGURD ISLANDSMOEN (1881-1964): Requiem, Op. 42. Composed in 1935-36 but not performed until 1943 (and after an air raid warning at that), this large-scale work finally gives us something to hang the name of Islandsmoen onto after knowning him almost solely through little characteristic string pieces on Norwegian music compilation discs. Unlike any other work in the genre I've run across, this begins with a gently pastoral, slightly melancholy, four-minute orchestral prelude called "Canto funébre". The body of the requiem is in conservative, late Romantic style although a calm spirit pervades it, even the Dies irae not being particularly threatening. Further marking it out is the composer's use of three folk-music themes and their variants in almost half of the sections into which he divided the piece, making this a must-have for collectors or Norwegian music as well as those of late Romanticism. Hilde Haraldsen Sveen (soprano), Marianne Beate Kielland (alto), Ulf Øien (tenor), Trond Halstein Moe (bass), Norwegian Soloists Choir, Kristiansand Symphony Orchestra; Terje Boye Hansen. 2L SACD hybrid 36 (Norway) 10I005 $18.98

PAUL JUON (1872-1940): String Quartets, Op. 5, in B Minor, Op. 11, in A Minor, Op. 29 and No. 3, Op. 67. Born in Russia as a Swiss citizen and spending most of his life in Germany has meant that almost no one claims Juon as their own so it's a great gift that this Swiss label has lately issued several important CD premieres of his works. The influence of Russian romanticism is at the basis of all Juon's works and it is especially strong in the second and third of these quartets (two from 1896 and the third from 1904) - the second with overt influences of Tchaikovsky and Borodin, the third a much more personal work in which Russian folk elements are bound up closely with Juon's own, mature personal voice. The fourth contains no Slavic elements, being more abstract and, perhaps, not as easy to approach on first listening but still constructed out of a straightforward melodicism which soon comes to appeal. 2 CDs. Niziol Quartet. Musiques Suisses MGB 6242 (Switzerland) 10I006 $37.98

VIKTOR KOSENKO (1896-1938): Piano Music, Vol. 1 - 11 Etudes in the Form of Old Dances, Op. 19. One of Ukraine's most important composers and pianists in the early 20th century has been forgotten since his early death from cancer. He left behind a significant number of piano works, including several sets of etudes. These, dating from 1927-29, synthesize the late Romantic piano tradition with neo-Classical impulses (or, neo-Baroque, since these etudes are gavottes, allemande, rigaudon, passacaglia, etc.), as well as the frequent use of harmonies, melodies and modes characteristic of Ukrainian folk music. Natalya Shkoda (piano). Toccata Classics TOCC 0036 (England) 10I007 $17.98

CYRIL SCOTT (1879-1970): Piano Quartet, Op. 16, HERBERT HOWELLS (1892-1983): Piano Quartet in A Minor, Op. 21, WILLIAM ALWYN (1905-1985): Rhapsody for Piano Quartet, FRANK BRIDGE (1879-1941): Phantasy Piano Quartet in F Sharp Minor. This chamber group's second Meridian recording of late Romantic British piano quartets brings us one item not otherwise available - Howells' work which was composed in 1916. Given its time-period (carnage in France) and the composer's recent diagnosis of a heart condition, it is a surprisingly untroubled piece with hints of Fauré in its harmonic sophistication and with a folk-dance inspired finale whose opening theme suggests a kinship with themes from Warlock's Capriol Suite. Alwyn's rhythmically driven Rhapsody is the latest work here (1950) and, like Scott's 1900 quartet - offering equal glimpses of Fauré and his contemporary Bridge in its style - has only one other CD recording. Primrose Piano Quartet. Meridian CDE 84547 (England) 10I008 $17.98

TIKHON KHRENNIKOV (b.1913): Piano Concertos No. 1 in F, Op. 1, No. 2 in C, Op. 21 & No. 3 in C, Op. 28. Collectors of Soviet music and titanic pianism will be absolutely thrilled with this compilation of recordings from unknown dates. From 1933, the first concerto is a virtuosic display of chaotic modernism à la Prokofiev and some of the Russian avant-gardists (who, of course, were soon to be persecuted by the state organ Khrennikov headed from 1948 on): heroic and muscular pianism bounces in and out of what can only be described as a demented cartoon of color and rhythm. The second concerto comes from 38 years later and, the shortest here, is very reminiscent of the massive, bombastic "Great Patriotic War" music of the 1940s and early 50s - plenty of melody but the colors more monochrome, the anvil-like hands of the composer/pianist pounding heroically away. The Third (1983) is identifiably of the same creative mind but age has had its effects and the gestures are somewhat less heroic, the propaganda less overt (although the septuagenarian composer still plays like a younger man), more relaxing interludes of humor and respite. The recording of the First is probably the oldest one here and is the most spectacular; they knew what they were doing in Moscow in the early 60s. Tikhon Khrennikov (piano), USSR State Symphony Orchestra; Evgeni Svetlanov, Moscow Radio Symphony Orchestra; Vladimir Fedoseyev (No. 3). Kapelmeister KAP 009 (Russia) 10I009 $17.98 Ø

MOISEI VAINBERG (1919-1996): Cello Sonata No. 2 in G Minor, Op. 63, BORIS TCHAIKOVSKY (1925-1996): Cello Sonata in E Minor, DMITRI SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975): Cello Sonata in D Minor, Op. 40. It's been twelve years since the Vainberg and Tchaikovsky sonatas first appeared on CD on Russian Disc, so some collectors will not have been able to acquire these two very Shostakovichian works, the former dating from 1959 and the latter from two years earlier. Both have the nervous chromaticism, jumpy rhythms, dense melodic lines and edgy dissonance which, of course, characterize most of the output of their colleague and master who towered above practically every Soviet composer of the period. Johannes Moser (cello), Paul Rivinius (piano). Hännsler Classic CD 93.176 (Germany) 10I010 $17.98

OTAR TAKTAKISHVILI (1924-1989): Symphony No. 2 in C Minor (USSR State Symphony Orchestra; Evgeni Svetlanov), 3 Megrelian Songs for Tenor, Male Vocal Octet and Chamber Orchestra, Gurian Songs for Male Vocal Octet, Mixed Chorus and Orchestra (Z. Sotkilava [tenor], Rustavi Vocal Ensemble, Academic Large Chorus, USSR TV and Radio Large Symphony Orchestra; Otar Taktakishvili). Although one must call this 44-minute work a Soviet symphony since it was written in 1953 by a Soviet citizen, it would be very difficult to place its origin in a blind listening test. The introduction and first subject of the first movement could have come from a late 19th century German composer. But then, the softer second subject brings what are apparently Georgian folk themes, which appear again in the scherzo second movement (which also, at times, sounds positively Mexican!). The slow movement has an epic film music quality - you might be watching El Cid riding through an Iberian landscape, while the final movement is a generally festive summing up of matters. This is a 1992 digital recording. The couplings - one full-length cantata and excerpts from another - deal with authentic Georgian folk song and feature a well-known Georgian choral ensemble and are analogue recordings from an unknown date. Russian Disc RDCD 00768 (Russia) 10I011 $17.98 Ø

ROMEO CASCARINO (1922-2002): Pygmalion, Portrait of Galatea, Blades of Grass, Prospice, Meditation and Elegy, The Acadian Land. Mostly self-taught Italian kid from South Philadelphia, father's a tailor and a baritone, good with his fists (his name was Romeo, for cryin' out loud) but loved spending hours in the Free Library of Philadelphia studying scores, invited to Tanglewood after Copland sees early scores, makes it relatively big. Nice story (how did Slonimsky miss him in his last edition of Baker's?). The earliest two works, Blades of Grass (1946) - an elegy to war dead with an english horn solo - and Prospice (1948) - a 20-minute tone-poem inspired by Robert Browning - are the most Coplandesque pieces. In contrast, Portrait of Galatea (1952) is a languorous, slow, 11-minute tone-poem which recalls Scriabin and Pingoud but with much less chromaticism. Pygmalion, an 18-minute ballet score from 1956 has its luscious moments too while the other larger-scale work, 1960's The Acadian Land, adds occaisional hints of Nordic composers. Colorful, entertaining stuff! Philadelphia Philharmonia; JoAnn Falletta. Naxos American Classics 8.559266 (U.S.A.) 10I012 $7.98

MALCOLM ARNOLD (1921-2006): Symphony No. 6, Philharmonic Concerto, Flourish for a 21st Birthday, Beckus the Dandipratt, The Inn of the Sixth Happiness - Suite. This live recording from Sept. 24, 2004 celebrates the long connection between Arnold, who joined the orchestra as a 19-year-old trumpet player in 1941 (leaving to concentrate on composition in 1953), and "his" LPO. The psychologically troubled symphony, the brilliant and jovial early overture and the suite of very "Hollywood" film music are joined by the first recording of the little three-minute Flourish (1953, for the LPO) and the rarely heard Philharmonic Concerto, done in 1976 for the orchestra's U.S. tour. A real sense of occasion is present throughout. London Philharmonic Orchestra; Vernon Handley. LPO 0013 (England) 10I013 $16.98

PETER PHILIPS (1560/1-1628): Fantasia in F, Pavan in G Minor, Paget Pavan and Galliard in C Minor, Fece de voi partita, Passamezo Pavan and Galliard in G Minor with Philips' transcriptions of songs and madrigals by Giulio Caccini (1551-1618): Amarilli, mia bella, Alessandro Striggio (c.1540-1592): Chi farà fed' al cielo (II), Luca Marenzio (1553-1599): Deggio dunque partire, Io partirò, Ma voi, caro ben mio and Orlando di Lassus (c.1532-1594): Bonjour mon cure, Le Rossignuol and Margot, labourez les vignes. Next to Byrd, the most published English composer of his period, Philips left a small amount of keyboard music notable, especially in his intabulations of current madrigals, for its fantastic ornamentation and dense figuration while his dance pieces are distinguished by their fine polyphonic balance. For those who didn't bite on the two full-price MD&G offerings of last year, this 78-minute collection of his most famous pieces may fit the bill! Elizabeth Farr (harpsichord). Naxos 8.557864 (New Zealand) 10I014 $7.98

GIOVANNI GIROLAMO KAPSBERGER (1580-1651): Libro secondo d'arie. One of the most innovative and original composers in early 17th century Rome, Kapsberger published this book of works for one or two voices in 1632 which demonstrates his dramatic flair, skill at setting poetry and vivid imagination. All but one aria are world premiere recordings. Italian -English texts. Il Furioso; Victor Coelho. Toccata Classics TOCC 0027 (England) 10I015 $17.98

JOAN BAPTISTA COMES (1582?-1643): "Missa de Batalla", Caelestis urbs, Jerusalem, Gozos al Angel Custodio. A recreation of the 1638 celebration of the 400th anniversary of the conquest of Valencia, built around Comes' Missa ad instar proelia constructa, a work in the tradition of "battle masses" dating back to Guerrero and Victoria. Victoria Musicae; Josep R. Gil-Tàrrega. La Ma de Guido LMG 2072 (Spain) 10I016 $16.98

BENEDETTO FERRARI (1597-1681): 14 Selections from Musiche varie a voce sola (1633 and 1637) and Musiche e poesie varie a voce sola (1641). These vocal works, often to Ferrari's own texts, are in madrigal style as well as recitative-aria and, in the later books, arioso as well with more florid writing. Famous for his operas (which do not survive), we can probably see this style in the affecting recitatives. Italian texts. Patrizia Durando (soprano), In Tabernæ Musica. Tactus TC 590601 (Italy) 10I017 $11.98

MATTHIAS WECKMANN (c.1616-1674): Toccata vel praeludium in D Minor, Toccatas in E Minor (2) and A Minor, Toccata dal 12 Tuono in C, Canzon Dall istesso Tuono in C, Suite in D, Canzone in C Minor, D Minor, C & G, Partita in A Minor, Die lieblichen Blicke, Partitas in C Minor, B Minor & E Minor. While in Dresden, Weckmann apparently struck up a friendship with Froberger and these works have a strong affinity with the latter's keyboard music. The strength of Weckmann's ideas, quality of his polyphony and the novelty of his harmonic idiom rival the best harpsichord works of the period Jan Katzschke (harpsichord, lute harpsichord). CPO 777 185 (Germany) 10I018 $15.98

JOHANN KASPAR KERLL (1627-1693): Battalia, JOHANN JOSEPH FUX (1660-1741): Te Deum, K 271, Stabat Mater, K 268, Litaniae Sancta Maria, K 121, Magnificat, K 98, HEINRICH IGNAZ FRANZ BIBER (1644-1704): Die Pauernkirchfahrt, Battalia, JOHANN HEINRICH SCHMELZER (1623?-1680): Gegrüßt seist Du, Polnische Sackpfeiffen, ANON.: O du lieber Augustin. From 1678-1713, Austria was invaded twice by the Plague and once by the Turks, who were only just beaten back from the walls of Vienna. A society buffeted by these tangible evils became hyper-pious (not surprisingly) and the music recorded here is a sweeping example of all the Austrian suffering and faith of the time sublimated into music. 2 CDs. Texts and translations. Mieke van der Sluis, Barbara Fink (sopranos), Pascal Bertin (alto), Bernd Fröhlich (tenor), Wilfried Zelinka (bass), Domkantorei Graz, Grazer Choralschola, Armonico Tributo Austria; Lorenz Duftschmid. CPO 999 919 (Germany) 10I019 $31.98\

ANTONIO TEODORO ORTELLS (1649-1706): Oratorio Sacro a la pasión de Cristo nuestro Señor. One of the first complete Spanish oratorios (1706), Italian in form but almost wholly native Spanish in its musical content, making for a very unusual result sure to intrigue collectors of the baroque. Spanish-English texts. Olga Pitarch, Patricia Llorens (sopranos), Lola Bosom (contralto), Antoni Aragón (tenor), Jordi Ricat (bass), Capella de Ministrers; Carles Magraner. Licanus 0305 (Spain) 10I020 $17.98

ANTONIO VIVALDI (1678-1741): Concerto for Violin, Cello and Organ in C, RV 554,Concertos for Violin and Organ in D Minor, RV 541, in F, RV 542, in C Minor, RV 766 and in F, RV 767, Sonatas for Recorder and Bass in F, RV 52 and in D Minor (attr.). Five rare pieces of Vivaldi: concertos in which the organ is used as a solo instrument. Dated by manuscript paper to pre-1725, this makes these the oldest compositions in history to use a keyboard instrument as a soloist. Included are the only two sonatas Vivaldi wrote for the recorder (odd, considering how much he used it in chamber concertos). Il Rossignolo. Tactus TC 672239 (Italy) 10I021 $11.98

GEORG PHILIPP TELEMANN (1681-1767): Harmonischer Gottes-Dienst, Vol. 1 - Lauter Wonne, lauter Freude, TWV 1:1040, In gering- und rauhen Schalen, TWV 1:549*, Hemmet den Eifer, verbannet die Rache, TWV 1:941*, Seele, lerne dich erkennen, TWV 1:1502*, Du bist verflucht, o Schreckensstimme, TWV 1:213, Auf ehernen Mauern, TWV 1:96*. At the end of 1726, Telemann published his "Harmonic Divine Service" - a 72-cantata series which covered all the Sundays and festivals of the church year and which were written for solo voice, solo instrument and continuo. The formal unity of the cycle is leavened by Telemann's customary versatile and imaginative style as he varies the color of each piece with, in his own words "all kinds of striking inventions". This new complete series should bring us the complete cycle in around a dozen discs, the first one kicking off with works for high voice, flute and continuo. * - World premiere recordings. German-English texts. Mona Julsrud (soprano), Bergen Barokk. Toccata Classics TOCC 0037 (England) 10I022 $17.98

GEORG PHILIPP TELEMANN (1681-1767): Cantatas: In deinem Wort und Sakrament, TWV 1:931, Lauter Wonne, lauter Freude, TWV 1:1040, Göttlichs Kind, laß mit Entzücken, TWV 1:1020a, Allein Gott in der Höh sei Ehr, TWV 1:58, Magnificat, TWV 9:18. A more varied look at Telemann's large cantata uvre, with two Advent and two Christmas cantatas, one of the latter being part of a Harmonisches Gottesdienst sequel from 1731-2 and also requiring only a single voice but two accompanying instruments while the other (and the Advent cantatas) have a richer, string-based support. German-English texts. Susanne Rydén (soprano), Britta Schwarz (alto), Andreas Karasiak (tenor), Sebastian Noack (bass), ensemble stimmkunst, Ensemble 94; Kay Johannsen. Carus 83.180 (Germany) 10I023 $17.98

GEORG PHILIPP TELEMANN (1681-1767): Concerto for Flute, Viola da Gamba, Bassoon and Harpsichord, TWV 43:C2, Sonatas for Flute, 2 Viole da Gamba and Harpsichord, TWV 43:G10 & 12, 15th and 16th Lection des Getreuen Music-Meisters for Viola da Gamba, TWV 40:1, GEORG PHILIPP KRESS (1719-1779): 2 Trios for Flute, Viola d'amore and Continuo, CARL PHILIPP EMANUEL BACH (1714-1788): Arioso for Harpsichord and Violin, Fantasia sopra "Jesu meines Lebens Leben" for Flute, Viola da Gamba and Organ. Kress? Well Telemann was godfather to both of his companions on this disc although the amount of attention he lavished on Bach was negatively matched by his apparent lack of interest in Kress' career. A combination of flute solo with gamba accompaniments, a solo gamba turn and transcriptions of rare (or disputable) C.P.E. works surround two conservative (undated) pieces by Kress, making for an unusual chamber recital of interest to most German baroque collectors. Charivari Agréable. Signum Records SIGCD086 (England) 10I024 $17.98

MICHEL-RICHARD DE LALANDE (1657-1726): Les Folies de Cardenio. This ballet score, composed in 1720 for a mock-heroic play based on a character from Cervantes' Don Quixote, was reconstructed from 47 pieces of orchestral music preserved in a two-volume collection of works by Lalande and gives us a broader look at a composer known mostly for his motets as well as a new glimpse at court music at Versailles in the early days of Louis XV. Ensemble Baroque de Limoges; Christophe Coin. Laborie LC01 (France) 10I025 $16.98

JOHANN MATTHESON (1681-1764): Les doits parlans. Fanciers of baroque counterpoint will enjoy this otherwise unavailable cycle of twelve fugues interspersed with other forms (a burla, and a seriosità in addition to more common dance-type peices) which Mattheson published in 1735 and which bears some resemblance to Handel's group of six fugues dating from the same year. Gerd Zacher (König organ, Niederehe). Aeolus AE-1016 (Germany) 10I026 $17.98

LEONARDO LEO (1694-1744): Decebalo. You may know him for his cello concertos, but Leo wrote over 62 works for the stage, although you won't find this one even in the relatively new Opera Grove. It was very recently edited from two library sources for this live recording made last August. Dating from 1743, it is in Leo's very conservative style although his use of horns, recorder, oboes and trumpets adds variety to the aria accompaniments and Domitian, a great monster, gets several striking arias. 2 CDs. Italian-English libretto. Adrian George Popescu, Angelo Manzotti (countertenors), Julia Surdu (soprano), Sorin Dumitrasacu (bass), Romabarocca Ensemble; Lorenzo Tozzi. Bongiovanni GB 2412-13 (Italy) 10I027 $33.98

JOHANN ADOLF HASSE (1699-1783): Sonatas for Flute, Viola da Gamba and Fortepiano, Op. 5/1, for Flute and Gallichon, Op. 5/2, for Viola da Gamba and Harpsichord, Op. 5/3, for Viola da Gamba, Gallichon and Harpsichord, Op. 5/4, for Flute, Viola da Gamba, Gallichon and Harpsichord, Op. 5/5, for 2 Flutes, Viola da Gamba, Theorbo and Harpsichord, Op. 1/4 and for 2 Flutes, Viola da Gamba and Fortepiano, Op. 1/6, Aria L'amerò, sarò costante from Il Re Pastore (transcr. Gallichon). Originally flute sonatas, Hasse's op. 2 has here been varied as to the solo instrument, giving an attractive variety to these galant style in which splendor and emotion take a back seat to grace, charm and serenity. Umbach & Consorten. Aeolus AE-10036 (Germany) 10I028 $17.98

CARL HEINRICH GRAUN (c.1703-1759): Te Deum for Soloists, Chorus and Orchestra, 3 Motets for Chorus and Continuo. Celebrating the Prussian victory over Saxony (and the destruction of much of cultural note in Dresden which probably had the finer musical establishment...) in 1757, Graun's setting of the text is, welcome enough, not militaristic - no trumpets or timpani. Predominantly lyrical, with several sections for soloists of operatic quality, this is a gentle addition to the usual warlike Te Deums in your collection. The early (1721-25) choral motets are an interesting sidelight. German-English texts (Motets). Monika Mauch (soprano), Elisabeth von Magnus (mezzo), Bernhard Gärtner (tenor), Klaus Mertens (bass), L'arpa festante, Basler Madrigalisten; Fritz Näf. CPO SACD hybrid 777 158 (Germany) 10I029 $15.98

MICHEL CORRETTE (1707-1795): Symphonies des noëls No. 2 in D, No. 4 in D Minor, No. 5 in A Minor & No. 6 in A, Concertos comiques No. 4 in A "Le quadrille", No. 7 in C "La servante au bon tabac", No. 19 in A "La Turque", No. 24 in C "La marche du Huron" & No. 25 in G Minor "Les sauvages". Composed between 1733 and 1760 and conducted by the composer between acts at the Opéra Comique in Paris, the Concertos comiques are utterly delightful, witty and charming little jeux d'esprit which should be catalogue mainstays (although they never are). Ditto for the "Christmas Symphonies" which use popular French and other European carols and folk tunes in a similar spirit. Arion. Atma ACD 2 2192 (Canada) 10I030 $16.98

CARL PHILIPP EMANUEL BACH (1714-1788): Symphonies in D, E Flat, F & G, Wq 183/1-4, Cello Concerto in A, Wq 172. Composed in 1775, these symphonies are among the most electrifyingly new-sounding anyone of the period could hope to have heard. So, Manze being known for the fresh, sometimes startling, manner in which he approaches the repertoire he records, we make this brand-new version available in these pages. The English Concert; Andrew Manze, Alison McGillivray (cello). Harmonia Mundi HMU 907403 (U.S.A.) 10I031 $18.98

FRIEDRICH HARTMANN GRAF (1727-1795): Sonata in E Minor for Flute and Continuo, Trio in D for Flute, Violin and Cello, Quartet in G for Flute, Violin, Viola and Cello, Quartet No. 2 in D for 2 Flutes, Viola and Cello, Quintet in E Flat for Violin, Flute, Oboe, Horn and Cello. One of the first generation of famous, travelling virtuosos, Graf left behind a substantial uvre for his instrument. This collection ranges from a virtuosic sonata still in late baroque style, to early Classical works which resemble those of the same period by J.C. Bach and Haydn. Ensemble Schönbrunn. Globe GLO 5212 (Netherlands) 10I032 $17.98

ANTONIO SACCHINI (1730-1786): Oedipe à Colone. Sacchini's last work, premiered posthumously, "achieved a synthesis of Italian melodic style and Gluckian principles within a French dramatic framework" (Opera Grove). Striking for its many ensembles, all of which actually advance the action, and for the way arias flow seamlessly into and out of recitative and arioso, Oedipe had 583 performances by 1830, more than any opera of its time. (A full-price recording appeared December on Dynamic [12H024]). 2 CDs. French libretto. François Loup (bass-baritone), Nathalie Paulin (soprano), Robert Getchell, Tony Boutté (tenors), Opera Lafayette Orchestra and Chorus; Ryan Brown. Naxos 8.660196-97 (New Zealand) 10I033 $15.98

JOSEPH HAYDN (1732-1809): Piano Concertinos in C, Hob.XIV:12, in F, Hob.XIV:2, in G, Hob.XIV:13 & in C, Hob.XIV:11, String Trios in D, Hob.XI:11 and in C, Hob.V:16. In their original scoring (two violins and cello), the Concertinos, which date from Haydn's first years at Eisenstadt, can be experienced as chamber music rather than, with expanded strings, as concert music. The choice of piano is, of course, rather interesting in itself. One string trio is a baryton trio in origin, the other authentic for the instrumentation. Sabine Vatin (1893 Erard piano), Ensemble d'arco. Naxos 8.557660 (New Zealand) 10I034 $7.98

CARLO BESOZZI (1738-1791): Sonatas for 2 Oboes, 2 Horns and Bassoon Nos. 1, 2, 10, 12-14, 21 & 22. An oboist at the court of Dresden, Besozzi was famous throughout Europe as a soloist. These sonatas, however, appear to come from sometime between 1760 and 1767 when Besozzi was in Vienna, where such wind groups were evolving into the larger ensembles for which sort Mozart and Haydn wrote so many of their serenades, cassations and divertimenti. They are in fast-slow-minuet-fast form with a couple of engaging "hunting" finales. Ensemble Barocco Sans Souci; Giuseppe Nalin (oboe). Tactus TC 730201 (Italy) 10I035 $11.98

VICENTE MARTÍN Y SOLER (1756-1806): El tutor burlado or La Madrileña. Soler's first surviving opera dates from 1775, in Italian but here recorded in a 1778 zarzuela version in which most of the recitatives have been excised and a few arias modified to fit the Spanish text. Regardless, to the average listener, this sounds like a delightful, tune-filled high Classical two-act comedy, and we'll leave it at that. Spanish-English libretto. Olga Pitarch (soprano), Miquel Ramon (baritone), Antoni Aragón (tenor), Capella de Minstrers; Carles Magraner. Licanus 0410 (Spain) 10I036 $17.98

THOMAS LINLEY the younger (1756-1778): Music for The Tempest, Overture to The Duenna, In yonder grove, Ye nymphs of Albion's beauty-blooming isle, Darthula. Mozart himself said in 1784, six years after Linley's death in a boating accident, that "had he lived, [he] would have been one of the greatest ornaments of the musical world." This is most clear in the latest work here, the 1777 incidental music to The Tempest, whose opening storm sequence looks far into the future in its orchestral writing while the choral parts remain sinple and conservative. Texts included. Julia Gooding (soprano), The Parley of Instruments Baroque Orchestra and Choir; Paul Nicholson (harpsichord). Original 1995 Hyperion release. Helios CDH 55256 (England) 10I037 $10.98

JAKUB JAN RYBA (1765-1815): Flute Quartets in C and in F, String Quartets In A Minor and in D Minor. Now you can remember Ryba for something other than his Czech Christmas Mass: the only surviving four of some 70 quartets (flute and/or string). The string quartets are little, three-movement pieces, the flute quartets more than twice as long, both coming, not surprisingly, from the same tradition as Myslivecek and Vanhal. Jan Ostry (flute), M. Nostitz Quartet. Naxos 8.557729 (New Zealand) 10I038 $7.98

ANTON EBERL (1765-1807): Clarinet Sonata in B Flat, Op. 10/2, Clarinet Trio in E Flat, Op. 36, Clarinet Quintet in G Minor, Op. 41. Eberl was generally considered to be equal to Mozart, Haydn and Beethoven by many contemporaries and his op. 1 piano sonata was published under Mozart's name for decades. These chamber works show not only the Mozart connection but, especially in the late quintet, a composer who also shared Beethoven's pre-Romantic outlook but who is, as we hear more and more of his music, plainly a very important figure in the pre-Romantic period in his own right. Trio Van Bruggen-Van Hengel-Veenhoff with Stephen Freeman and Frouke Mooij (violas). Ramée RAM 0601 (Germany) 10I039 $17.98

GEORGES ONSLOW (1784-1853): Piano Trios No. 7 in D Minor, Op. 20 & No. 8 in C Minor, Op. 26. Amidst the avalanche of his quintets, this disc of piano trios is the only one currently in the catalogue. Dating from 1822 and 1824, these are glittering works, full of gracious and memorable melody, plenty of showy work for the pianist and a style ranging between Beethoven and early, salon Romanticism. Trio Bamberg. Musicaphon M 56888 (Germany) 10I040 $15.98

PIETRO BOTTESINI (1792-1874): Theme and Variations for Flute, Clarinet and String Quartet, Divertimento for Clarinet and String Quartet, Aria from "Ciro in Babilonia" by Rossini for Clarinet and Guitar (arr. Magistrelli), Quartets for Violin, Clarinet and Guitar Nos. 3 & 6, Theme and Variations for Clarinet and Piano, GIOVANNI BOTTESINI (1821-1889): Gran Duo for Clarinet, Double Bass and Piano. Attractive bel canto clarinet chamber music (and we mean bel canto - themes come from Donizetti, Bellini and Mercadante) from the clarinettist father of the more famous double-bass virtuoso. Luigi Magistrelli (clarinet), Elena Cecconi (flute), Massimo Laura (guitar), Piermario Murellli (double bass), Claudia Bracco (piano), Andriani String Quartet. Talent 124 (Belgium) 10I041 $15.98

Romantic Piano Concerto - 41

FRIEDRICH KALKBRENNER (1785-1849): Piano Concertos No. 1 in D Minor, Op. 61 and No. 4 in A Flat, Op. 127. Well, it's been 33 years since Hans Kann and Heribert Beissel did the Kalkbrenner First of 1823 (with a severe, Reinecke-sourced cut in the opening orchestral tutti, restored here) for Vox and, of course, no one's done the Fourth (1835) - pianist/conductor Shelley and Phillip Littlemore reconstructed it for this recording. Schumann called it "manufactured pathos and affected profundity"; well, even if true, so what? Collectors of this series are not going to hesitate! Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra; Howard Shelley (piano). Hyperion CDA 67535 (England) 10I042 $18.98

FRANZ XAVER MOZART (1791-1844): An spröde Schönen, Nein!, Der Schmetterling, Klage an den Mond, Erntelied, An den Abendstern, Das Finden, Erinnerung, An Emma, LEOPOLD MOZART (1719-1787): Die Zufreidenheit im niedrigen Stande, Die großmütige Gelassenheit, Bei dem Abschied, Geheime Liebe, WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART (1756-1791): An die Freude, Oiseaux, si tous les ans, Dans un bois solitaire, Redente la calma, Warnung, Das Veilchen, An Chloe, Abendempfindung, Das Lied der Trennung, Das Traumbild, An die Freundschaft, JULIE VON BARONI-CAVALCABÒ (1813-1887): Warum? Thanks to Barbara Bonney and Decca, it's Papa Leopold's four songs which are truly unusual repertoire on this disc. In the fashion of C.P.E. Bach and Benda, these short works deal with moralizing or trivial, ephemeral topics - as did Wolfgang's early attempts in the genre. Here, all aspects of the great composer's songs are represented while F.X. reaches significant depths of emotion and communication in Klage an der Mond. One of his female students, also a favorite of Mendelssohn and Schumann in the substantial, emotionally dark Warum? No texts. Konrad Jarnot (baritone), Alexander Schmalcz (piano). Oehms Classics OC 564 (Germany) 10I043 $13.98

GIOACCHINO ROSSINI (1792-1868): Petite Messe Sollennelle (Original 1864 version). Meaning what was heard on March 14 of that year in the Paris townhouse of Comtesse Louise Pillet-Will: 12 voices (chorus and soloists together), two pianos (here, an 1862 Bösendorfer and a copy of a slightly earlier Graf) and a harmonium (here, an 1868 French model of the same make Rossini used). For scrupulous period instrument collectors (at least!). Carolyn Sampson (soprano), Hilary Summers (alto), Andrew Tortise, William Unwin (tenors), Andrew Foster-Williams (bass), Gary Cooper, Matthew Halls (pianos), Mark Williams (harmonium), The King's Consort; Robert King. Hyperion CDA 67570 (England) 10I044 $18.98

CHARLES GOUNOD (1818-1893): Symphonies No. 1 in D and No. 2 in E Flat. If you love Bizet's Symphony in C and don't know the relatively neglected symphonies of Gounod, you need to! Especially because Bizet modeled his work exactly on Gounod's First. Same classical charm and light-hearted spirit. The Second (1855) is a bigger work, modeled on Beethoven and Mendelssohn and just as noteworthy. Sinfonia Finlandia Jyväskylä; Patrick Gallois. Naxos 8.557463 (New Zealand) 10I045 $7.98

STANISLAW MONIUSZKO (1819-1872): Litanies of Ostra Brama. Lasting just under an hour together, these four short cantatas date from the period 1843-55 and were composed in Vilnius for the May and October masses at the Dawn Gate in honor of the Virgin Mary. A solemn prelude, a blissful idyll, a dramatic (almost operatic) third piece and a sturdy, monumental finale, these works were closest to the composer's heart of all his sacred compositions. Iwona Hossa (soprano), Anna Lubanska (mezzo), Adam Zdunkowski (tenor), Czeslaw Galka (bass), Warsaw Philharmonic Choir and Orchestra; Henryk Wojnarowski. CD Accord ACD 137-2 (Poland) 10I046 $17.98

JACQUES OFFENBACH (1819-1880): Piano Works, Vol. 2 - Abendblätter, Schüler-Polka, Les Boules de neige, Le Fleuve d'or, Le Postillon, Jacqueline, Polka du mendiant, Les Contes de la Reine de Navarre, Souvenirs de Londres, Herminien-Walzer, Madeleine, The Celebrated Polka Dance, Les Belles Américaines, Burlesque Polka, Valse composée au chateau du Val le 9 août 1845, Galop infernal. A second batch of Offenbach's piano music - arrangements of existing compositions, sometimes pieces he was to use later in his stage music, composed to flatter and to pass the time, mostly between 1836-55 and here consisting, in the main, of waltzes and polkas. Marco Sollini (piano). CPO 777 161 (Germany) 10I047 $15.98

JOSEPH SICKMAN CORSEN (1853-1911): Simpatia, Un Deseo, Amorosa, 2ième Mazurka Nocturne, Walses Nos. 5, 6, 11 & 12, Nelly, Meditacion, La Mariposa, Un Sueño, Amicitia, Mazurka, Nocturne, El Lisonjero, Denny, Tic-Tac, Reverier, El Venezolano, La Elegante, 1893, 1888. Sickman is known to residents of Curaçao as one of their first important poets and his corpus of musical compositions had been forgotten until his great-grandson decided to revisit them here. These are mostly waltzes with a couple of mazurkas and polkas thrown in, very much in the high quality salon style of Lecuona, Cervantes and the many other Caribbean and/or Spanish composers in the same genre who have been reappearing on disc in recent years. Randal Corsen (piano). Fineline Classics FL 72408 (Netherlands) 10I048 $15.98

JULIUS ROENTGEN (1855-1932): Viola Sonatas in A Minor, A Flat and C Minor, Lyrische Gänge, for Voice, Viola and Piano, JOHANNES BRAHMS (1833-1897): 2 Lieder for Voice, Viola and Piano, Op. 91. Although he remained loyal to Brahmsian late Romanticism, Roentgen had very little of that dark, brooding romantic personality. Composed between 1924-26 the sonatas are often cyclic in nature, warm and full of attractive melodies. The song cycle (1926) does approach Brahms in weight and intensity, especially the 14-minute fifth and final piece. 2 CDs for the price of 1. German-English texts. Francien Schatborn (viola), Jeannette Koekkoek (piano), Margriet van Reisen (mezzo). Etcetera KTC 1297 (Netherlands) 10I049 $17.98

SERGEI TANEYEV (1856-1915): String Quartets, Vol. 4 - No. 6 in B Flat, Op. 19 & No. 9 in A. The final volume of this series contains the last originally unnumbered quartet, from 1883, again suggestive of the color and sensibility of Tchaikovsky, and the B flat work of 1905, an imposing, austere work of typically solid contrapuntal construction. Taneyev Quartet. Northern Flowers NF/PMA 9936 (Russia) 10I050 $16.98

GIUSEPPE MARTUCCI (1856-1909): Violin Sonata in G Minor, Op. 22, Melodia, 3 pezzi, Op. 67, GIOVANNI SGAMBATI (1841-1914): 2 pezzi, Op. 24, Gondoloiera, Op. 29. Martucci's short, 16-minute sonata is a youthful work of 1874 and unashamedly drinks from the Schumannian well of high-spirited, sunny early Romanticism while the three pieces of 1880 begin to show Martucci's personal predilection for the lyrical and poetical. Sgambati's trio of high quality salon pieces make up practically all these composers wrote for this instrumentation. Luca Braga (violin), Lucia Pittau (piano). Tactus TC 851301 (Italy) 10I051 $11.98

EDWARD ELGAR (1857-1934): Sonatina in G, Dream Children, Op. 43, Une Idylle, Op. 4/1, Carissima, May Song, Douce Pensée (Rosemary), Echo's Dance, Op. 81/7, Sérénade Mauresque, Op. 10/2, Enigma Variations, Op. 36. Since many of Elgar's little salon-style pieces exist in two or three instrumentations, we can bring you a full disc of Elgar piano music although piano collectors might be most interested in having the composer's own piano version of the Enigma Variations. Ashley Wass (piano). Naxos 8.570166 (New Zealand) 10I052 $7.98

JENÖ HUBAY (1858-1937): Works for Violin and Piano, Vol. 9 - Fantaisie Hongroise, Op. 1, 2 Nocturnes, Opp. 42 & 73, Ataïr, Op. 47, 3 Pieces, Op. 86, 2 morceaux, Op. 87, Romanze und Gitarre, Op. 108, Violinsolo aus der Oper "Der Dorflump", Op. 50a, HUBAY/HENRI VIEUXTEMPS (1820-1881): Lamento. One of Hubay's first published works, the "Hungarian Fantasy" of 1879 employs three gypsy songs well known in the salons of Paris where the young violinist was staying at the time. The other large-scale work is the five-movement, 22-minute "Novel in Music" called Altaïr (1893) which finds the lovestruck composer writing musical notes to his wife-to-be whom he was forbidden to see until she came of age ("Outpouring" and "Intoxication of Love" give a good idea of the fulsome Romanticism of this cycle). Ferenc Szecsödi (violin), István Kassai (piano). Hungaroton HCD 32389 (Hungary) 10I053 $17.98

LUDWIG THUILLE (1861-1907): Sextet for Piano and Winds, Op. 6, AUGUST KLUGHARDT (1847-1902): Wind Quintet, Op. 79, CARL REINECKE (1824-1910): Trio in B Flat for Clarinet, Horn and Piano, Op. 274. For a long while, this half-hour long work from 1889, at the edge of Thuille's early style which was still based on Beethoven, Mendelssohn and Schumann, was his only marker in the catalogues. Klughardt's 1900 quintet, capable of a very un-Germanic lightness of texture, has a couple of other recordings now too while the late Reinecke piece has appeared in these pages very recently (08I041). Hexagon Ensemble. Etcetera KTC 1295 (Netherlands) 10I054 $17.98

ENRIQUE FERNÁNDEZ ARBÓS (1863-1939): El centro de la tierra, 5 piezas from El centro de la tierra for Piano. Arbós' only stage work, "The Center of the Earth" is a zarzuela which failed spectacularly in its in 1894 and never came to light again until this recording - part of the Madrid SO's ongoing tribute to their former music director (i.e. Arbós). A fantastical scenario with gnomes and gods apparently flummoxed an audience used to seeing stock characters and the music, too, was far too sophisticated for popular taste. Although the libretto is only in Spanish, there is a very detailed synopsis by track number, a full set of notes including hilarious excerpts from the composer's autobiography in which he detachedly discusses the opening night debacle. A suite for solo piano extracted later by Arbós fills out the second disc (at 100 minutes, the zarzuela itself has almost 30 minutes worth of purely orchestral movements, which may tip the balance for collectors of Spanish music but not, maybe, zarzuelas). 2 CDs. Spanish libretto. Milagros Martín (soprano), Emilio Sánchez (tenor), Luis Álvarez (baritone), Madrid Symphony Chorus and Orchestra; José Luis Temes. Verso VRS 2019 (Spain) 10I055 $35.98

JEAN SIBELIUS (1865-1957): In Memoriam, Op. 59 (first version - World Premiere Recording), 2 Serious Melodies for Cello and Orchestra, Presto for Strings, Lemminkäïnen in Tuonela, Op. 22/2 (1896 version - World Premiere Recording), Humoresque No. 1 in D Minor, Op. 87/1 (first version - World Premiere Recording), 3 Pieces for Orchestra, Op. 96, In Memoriam, Op. 59 (revised version). Since Vänskä has recorded many pieces which were "world premiered" in BIS' long-running Sibelius series, the label appears to have abandoned its numbering system (but, just to be correct, this is the 72nd BIS Sibelius release). The main discovery here is the first, 1896 version of the rather large-scale tone-poem Lemminkäinen in Tuonela; this is even larger here since Sibelius cut out a 32-bar introduction and 76 more bars in the center of the work. Colin Davis reconstructed this in 2004 from an original manuscript and from hand-written orchestral parts for the 1896 premiere. The first version of the funeral march In Memoriam is more raw than the revision, with rattling percussion and chromatic brass writing which, at one point, suggests Mahler (!). Marko Ylonen (cello), Jaakko Kuusisto (violin), Kristiina Mäkelä (soprano), Matleena Vakkilainen (alto - op. 96/2), Lahti Symphony Orchestra; Osmo Vänskä. BIS CD-1485 (Sweden) 10I056 $17.98

CARL NIELSEN (1865-1931): Maskarade. Nielsen's sparkling setting of an updated Holberg masque comedy of 1724 receives a brilliantly colorful staging at the Bregenz Festival. The costumes are of the original period although the fabulous lighting is decidedly modern, the actors are believable and, where needed, attractive (which certainly helps believability) and - the thing you can't fully enjoy in a sound-only recording - the several dance episodes in Act Three are a joy to both ears and eyes. Daniel Kirch (tenor), Barbara Haveman (soprano), Ernst D. Suttheimer (baritone), Günter Missenhardt (bass), Moscow Chamber Choir, Bregenz Festival Dance Ensemble, Vienna Symphony Orchestra; Ulf Schirmer. Sung in German. English subtitles. 4:3 (TV) format. 2.0 Stereo or Dolby Digital 5/1 Surround. Capriccio DVD 93512 (Germany) 10I057 $31.98 Ø

WILHELM PETERSON-BERGER (1867-1942): The Doomsday Prophets - excerpts. Premiered in 1917, this work is likened to Die Meistersinger by those who see Peterson-Berger's stage work as quite Wagnerian in design. Set in Uppsala in 1647, it concerns various learned individuals arguing about the date of Doomsday with secondary personal intrigues added and the music in the composer's typical late Romantic style. These 79 minutes of highlights come from a 1984 Swedish Radio broadcast (it's unclear whether the broadcast was of the complete work) which itself may have been the first time it was heard in Sweden since 1941. Swedish-English libretto. Mikael Samuelson (baritone), Solveig Faringer (soprano), Thomas Sunnegårdh (tenor), Members of Orfei Drängar and Allmänna Sången, Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra; Ulf Söderblom. Sterling CDO 1069-2 (Sweden) 10I058 $16.98

ENRIQUE GRANADOS (1867-1916): La Maja Dolorosa, 4 Tonadillas, JOAQUÍN TURINA (1882-1949): Poema en Forma de Canciones, Farruca, FERNANDO OBRADORS (1897-1945): Coplas de Curro Dulce, MANUEL DE FALLA (1876-1946): 2 Canciones de María Lejarraga, Aria de Salud from La Vida Breve, 7canciones populares españoles (arr. Manzano for Flamenco Guitar and Voice). Of course, this is de los Angeles territory and mostly well-represented in the catalogue but this appears to be the first complete transcription of Falla's Flamenco-inspired cycle, made by the guitarist here who comes from a family steeped in the tradition. Spanish-English texts. Idit Arad (soprano), Yuval Zorn (piano), Luis-Miguel Manzano (flamenco guitar). Meridian CDE 84536 (England) 10I059 $17.98

FRANZ SCHMIDT (1874-1939): Symphony No. 4. This is the first release to appear in the U.S. in a new Schmidt symphony cycle and, though it is the best-known and most-recorded of the four, the fact that this would only be the third complete set of the symphonies will likely draw collectors. The most mournful, grief-laden symphony of all time (beyond Suk's Asrael), this long, four-part but single-movement work from 1933 was a long cry of anguish and a funeral tribute to Schmidt's only daughter, who died in childbirth the year before. Middle German Radio Symphony Orchestra; Fabio Luisi. Querstand VKJK 0506 (Germany) 10I060 $17.98

Lyrita's return...

... is not as exciting as it will get when the first batch of 15 titles which were never before available on CD become available early next year. But for collectors who never got all 37 pre-existing CD titles or who are only now embarking on collecting this much-loved, often impossible-to-find, audiophile, English repertoire label, now's the time to celebrate (and the price is much less than it used to be). There will be 5 of these released per month (except December) until next June and the word is that the new-to-CD titles will be simultaneously released in the UK and here.

MALCOLM ARNOLD (1921-2006): Symphony No. 4, Op. 71. Made in 1990, this version of the very unusual Fourth - with its Caribbean percussion, naive "big romantic pop tune" in the first movement, ghostly, wandering Andantino - is unlike any other currently available. Hickox on Chandos (40:36), Penny on Naxos (37:47) vs. the composer himself right here (54:11). No cuts or omissions in the shorter versions either. Collectors of this composer who have never heard this recording will certainly find a different experience under Arnold's own baton (and fabulous recorded sound) and one must allow that the composer knows better than anyone what he meant when he wrote the score. London Philharmonic Orchestra; Malcolm Arnold. Lyrita SRCD.200 (England) 10I061 $15.98

MALCOLM ARNOLD (1921-2006): English Dances, Set 1, Op. 27 & Set 2, Op. 33, Irish Dances, Op. 126, Scottish Dances, Op. 59, Cornish Dances, Op. 91, Solitaire - Sarabande and Polka. Also recorded in 1990 (except for the Scottish and Cornish, which were done in 1979), much of what is said above applies to this disc also. The composer takes a bit longer in the slower dances but is also sometimes faster in the faster ones than Penny on Naxos. London Philharmonic Orchestra; Malcolm Arnold. Lyrita SRCD.201 (England) 10I062 $15.98

ARTHUR BLISS (1891-1975): Mêlée Fantasque, Rout for Orchestra and Soprano (Rae Woodland [soprano]), Adam Zero - Suite, Serenade for Orchestra and Baritone (John Shirley-Quirk [baritone], London Symphony Orchestra; Sir Arthur Bliss, Brian Priestman [Serenade]), The World is charged with the grandeur of God (LSO Wind and Brass Enemble, Ambrosian Singers; Philip Ledger). Most of the repertoire here was recorded in honor of the composer's 80th birthday in 1971. The note is by the late great Christopher Palmer, whose description of the mature Bliss (referring specifically to the Serenade of 1929) tells it all: "...the orchestra flashes and crackles, rhythms dance and leap (tranquillity never absolute); chords, in avoiding the bland or commonplace, continually (and congenially) confound expectation." Lyrita SRCD.225 (England) 10I063 $15.98

WILLIAM ALWYN (1905-1985): Overture Derby Day, Symphonic Prelude The Magic Island, Elizabethan Dances Nos. 1, 2, 4, & 5, Sinfonietta for Strings, Festival March. Recorded in 1972, 1975, 1979 and 1985 (Festival March is the latest), this collection is another valuable first-hand account of smaller works in the composer's oeuvre by Alwyn himself. London Philharmonic Orchestra; William Alwyn. Lyrita SRCD.229 (England) 10I064 $15.98

EDMUND RUBBRA (1901-1986): Symphony No. 2 in D, Op. 45, Festival Overture, Op. 62 (New Philharmonia Orchestra; Vernon Handley), Symphony No. 7 in C, Op. 88 (London Philharmonic Orchestra; Sir Adrian Boult). Here we have what were probably the first recordings (at least the first stereo) recordings of these symphonies, the Seventh recorded in 1970 and the couplings in 1978 (early Handley, vintage Boult!). Lyrita SRCD.235 (England) 10I065 $15.98

MIECZYSLAW KARLOWICZ (1876-1909): 7 Songs, IGNACY JAN PADEREWSKI (1860-1941): 3 Songs, KAROL SZYMANOWSKI (1882-1937): 2 Songs, STANISLAW MONIUSZKO (1819-1872): 5 Songs, FREDERIC CHOPIN (1810-1849): 5 Songs. For hard-core collectors of Romantic Polish song (to which Karlowicz belongs even though his melancholy, often fervently amorous songs were set to verses by Modernist poets), we offer this recital which has no song translations (although good English notes). The rarity of the repertoire means that we haven't listed the titles in their Polish originals (again, no translations are provided) although, if you need to know, they can be provided upon request. Polish texts. Pawel Skaluba (tenor), Waldemar Malicki (piano). Dux 0527 (Poland) 10I066 $16.98

JOSEPH CANTELOUBE (1879-1957): Rustiques, ALEXANDRE TANSMAN (1897-1986): Suite for Wind Trio, ERVIN SCHULHOFF (1894-1942): Divertissement, HEITOR VILLA-LOBOS (1887-1959): Wind Trio. The rarity here in this program of trios for oboe, clarinet and bassoon is Canteloube's 1946 work which weaves together French folk tunes from all over the country with his own original music to produce a beautiful quilt of pastoral and, in the "Rondeau à la française" finale, joyful music. Tansman (1949) is in Stravinskian neo-classical vein, Schulhoff (1927) all over the map, from "Charleston" and "Florida" to eastern European folkdance while Villa-Lobos' 1921 work, rhythmically insistant and barbarically primitive to its first hearers, is the best-known piece here. Ocotillo Winds. Summit DCD 466 (U.S.A.) 10I067 $17.98

MARCEL TOURNIER (1879-1951): Suite for Flute, String Trio and Harp, Op. 34, JEAN CRAS (1879-1932): Quintet for Flute, String Trio and Harp, JOSEPH GUY-ROPARTZ (1864-1955): Prélude, Marine et Chansons for Flute, String Trio and Harp, ANDRÉ JOLIVET (1905-1974): Pastorales de Noël for Flute, Cello and Harp, GABRIEL FAURÉ (1845-1924): Berçeuse (arr. flute and harp), Sicilienne from Pelleas et Mélisande, Op. 78 (arr. flute and piano). This eminently French combination of instruments has always provided a fragrant, lyrical and pastoral (or nautical) experience, the two Breton composers suggesting the play of waves (Ropartz) as well as a more abstract but still aurally delicious experience (Cras, who, after all, was the Rear Admiral!). Tournier was a harpist and his 1929 suite is a brief but exquisite little work which apparently has no other CD recording. Linos Harp Quintet. Hännsler Classic CD 93.175 (Germany) 10I068 $17.98

JOSEPH MARX (1882-1964): Quartetto in modo antico, Quartetto in modo classico, Quartetto chromatico. While written in the style of previous eras these quartets are never even close to mere pastiche. The "classical" quartet is the latest (1941) and is written in the spirit of Haydn and Mozart while using clearly late Romantic musical language. The "ancient" quartet (1938) is an homage to such composers as Palestrina and di Lasso, using a modal harmonic style and much free polyphony. The "chromatic" quartet (1937) could well have been by the pre-12-tone Schoenberg, shifting from key to key in its tortured chromaticisms while having an intensely romantic heart which seems to be informed by a wistful sadness for a lost world. Thomas Christian Ensemble. CPO 777 066 (Germany) 10I069 $15.98

ARNOLD BAX (1883-1953): Piano Sonata in E Flat (World Premiere Recording), Piano Sonatas No. 1 in F Sharp Minor, No. 2, No. 3 in G Sharp Minor & No. 4 in G. For the first time, a non-English pianist has recorded the cycle of Bax sonatas, perhaps telling us that Bax is becoming recognized beyond his home territory. Endres is closer to the tempi of Parkin on Chandos than the very measured ones chosen by Wass on his recent Naxos series and, making this a must-have for Bax collectors, he offers the first recording of the original version of the Symphony No. 1 (after having had quite a bit of difficulty in getting the score). Bax rewrote the second movement for orchestra and orchestrated the outer ones, so there is new music here as well as the volcanic energy of the first and third which have an impact all their own when heard in this medium. 2 CDs. Michael Endres (piano). Oehms Classics OC 565 (Germany) 10I070 $27.98

GIORGIO FEDERICO GHEDINI (1892-1965): Concerto dell'Albatro for Piano Trio and Orchestra with Speaker, Sonata da concerto for Flute, String Orchestra, Timpani and Percussion. Championed by both Hans Rosbaud and Guido Cantelli, the "Albatross Concerto" of 1945 is a five-section work in a single movement which, inspired by a footnote in "Moby Dick", depicts the onward motion into ever colder latitudes, with a speaker appearing near the end in the voice of Ishmael (here delivered in English as was the case with Cantelli's performance in New York [still available on Testament]). The companion work (1958) was written for Severino Gazzelloni and, like the concerto, has its own, hard-to-define personal voice (the late Kapp mentions Frank Martin as a composer who is similarly hard to characterize but who is just as compelling to listeners who come to know him), with an "in-old-style" kind of slow movement and blink-and-you'll-miss-it whirlwind finale. Philharmonia Virtuosi; Richard Kapp. Essay CD1095 (U.S.A.) 10I071 $15.98

TADEUSZ SZELIGOWSKI (1896-1963): Flute Sonata, ALEXANDRE TANSMAN (1897-1986): Sonatina for Flute and Piano, BOLESLAW WOYTOWICZ (1899-1980): Flute Sonata, ADAM SWIERZYNSKI (1914-1997): Flute Sonata, Cracovienne, Kaszuby Dance. Eclecticism and neo-classicism with a dash of Impressionism are the rule for this collection of Polish flute sonatas. Choppy, perky fast movements are wrapped around pastoral slow ones (Szeligowski and Swierzynski add an extra fast movement), hints of Polish national color appear here and there, along with some polyphony - sure to please collectors who like their Prokofiev and Poulenc flute sonatas. Marta A. Balinska (flute), Bernard Job (piano). Dux 0545 (Poland) 10I072 $15.98

ARTHUR HONEGGER (1892-1955): Partita, FRANK MARTIN (1890-1974): Ouverure et Foxtrot, IGOR STRAVINSKY (1882-1971): Le Sacre du Printemps. Martin's diptych of 1924 has a genial "overture" with hints of blues and ragtime and a very creditable foxtrot for a European composer of the time. Honegger's Partita dates from 1940 but makes use of themes from an earlier ballet-pantomime (Sémiramis) and its thirteen minutes are a varied and dramatic interplay of craggy harmonies and charming sections in the general style of Les Six. Peter & Patrik Jablonski (pianos). Altara ALT 1001 (England) 10I073 $16.98

MARION BAUER (1882-1955): 3 Impressions, Op. 10, Pine Trees, Op. 12/3, 6 Preludes, Op. 15, SAMUEL BARBER (1910-1981): Sonata in E Flat Minor, Op. 26, Excursions, Op. 20, Nocturne in A Flat, Op. 33. A whole Naxos American Classics disc last November was devoted to Bauer (11H057). Her piano music here is earlier than anything on that disc, the Impressions (1918) and Pine Trees (from a 1922 cycle called From the New Hampshire Woods) being quite influenced by French Impressionism but having a darker, more intense feel which will also suggest some of Bridge's piano pieces, while the Preludes (1922) add a neo-Classical feel to the delicate Impressionism. It's nice to see a rising young piano star devoting at least part of a disc to unusual American repertoire! Stephen Beus (piano). Endeavour Classics END 017 (U.S.A.) 10I074 $13.98

PAUL HINDEMITH (1895-1963): 3 Stücke for Clarinet, Trumpet, Violin, Double Bass and Piano, 2 Duets for Violin and Clarinet, Variations for Clarinet and Strings, Ludus minor for Cello and Clarinet, Clarinet Sonata, Septet for Flute, 2 Clarinets, Oboe, Horn, Trumpet and Bassoon. Three world premiere recordings distinguish this disc of clarinet chamber music: the "Three Pieces", from the 1920s, in the Neue Sachlichkeit style of wry humor and irony, the Ludus minor (1942), a companion piece to the piano Ludus tonalis and which comprises three fugues separated by interludes and the wind septet of 1948 which is in the composer's by then well-established style of Gebrauchsmusik - solidly constructed pieces, giving each player satisfying material, attractively and carefully written for each instrument. Csaba Klenyán (clarinet), Budapest Chamber Symphony, Ildikó Cs. Nagy (piano), Bence Horváth (trumpet), Péter Somogyi (violin) and other artists. Hungaroton HCD 32325 (Hungary) 10I075 $17.98

BLAS GALINDO (1910-1993): Te canta mi seperanza, Arullo, Madre mía, cuando muera, Jicarita, Mi querer pasaba el río, Paloma blanca, Poema Numero 1, Yo Rancherón, Fuensanta, Tu silencio, Ausencia, JOSÉ ROLÓN (1883-1945): Y ella me dicía, Ufrasia, Ay no me digas, Ingrata, ¿Quién me compra una naranja?, ARNULFO MIRAMONTES (1882-1960): Serenata, Las hojas caen, HIGINIO RUVALCABA (1905-1968): Chapultepec, JOSÉ LUIS GONZÁLEZ (b.1937): El celaje, Cuando llueve. This recital of Mexican song by composers from Jalisco is dominated by the eleven of Galindo which are the most modern in style of all. This hardly means avant-garde, however, Galindo generally responding closely to the texts in composing his music with the piano part sometimes prominent, sometimes subordinate, according to his reading of the texts. The generation of composers born in the late 19th century provide the sort of folk-influenced, romantic, sentimental and often overtly sweet, languishing, emotional music which was easily caricatured by later generations. Spanish texts. Gustavo Cuautli (tenor), Sergio Vázquez (piano). Urtext JBCC 125 (Mexico) 10I076 $17.98

HUMIWO HAYASAKA (1914-1955): Piano Concerto, Ancient Dances on the Left and on the Right, Overture in D. As promised four months ago when we offered a solo piano disc from this composer (06H068), here is the 1948 concerto, one of the oddest 20th century things in the genre you'll ever hear. In two movements, the first is a 22-minute long Lento which metamorphoses a theme (derived from a pentatonic Gagaku scale) endlessly, suggesting that beginning and end do not exist. Then, a ten-minute rondo, practically entirely played staccato, still based on Japanese scales but sounding like Prokofiev on speed. The Ancient Dances (1941) take their inspiration from Bugaku dance and will sound the most obviously "Japanese" to western ears while the 1939 overture was Hayasaka's attempt at a Ravellian Bolero-type composition, in the spirit of his good friend, Akira Ifukube, but lacking the latter's natural hell-bent, caution-to-the-winds personality. Hiromi Okada (piano), Russian Philharmonic Orchestra; Dmitry Yablonsky. Naxos 8.557819 (New Zealand) 10I077 $7.98

LEON STEIN (1910-2001): 3 Hassidic Dances (Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra; Stephen Gunzenhauser), LAZARE SAMINSKY (1882-1959): Excerpts from the Ballet The Vision of Ariel (BRSO; Gerard Schwarz), DARIUS MILHAUD (1892-1974): Opus Americanum no. 2 - Suite from the Ballet Moïse (excerpts) (BRSO; Joseph Silverstein), STEFAN WOLPE (1902-1972): The Man from Midian - Ballet Suite No. 1 (Alberto Mizrahi [tenor], Coral Carmina, Barcelona Symphony/National Orchestra of Catalonia; Jorge Mester). This collection of "Jewish Music of the Dance" ranges widely, from the 22 minutes of excerpts from Ukrainian-born Saminsky's "opera-ballet" of 1916, a strongly dramatic work using authentic cantillation melodies, to the first recording of Wolpe's ballet suite (1942) which is, hardly surprisingly, often densely chromatic and complex although not actually atonal. Chicago-born Stein's dances (1946) are colorful in a more Hollywood way and Milhaud's ballet excerpts (1947) are in his characteristic American-period style. Naxos Milken Archive 8.559439 (U.S.A.) 10I078 $7.98

DOUGLAS LILBURN (1915-2001): Aotearoa, A Birthday Offering, Drysdale Overture, Forest, A Song of Islands, Festival Overture, Processional Fanfare. A little over four years after Naxos released a recording of Lilburn's three symphonies (07E094), this collection of symphonic poems, overtures and occasional pieces brings the majority of his orchestral works to disc at budget-price. The only work in which the influence of Sibelius is not quite strong is the Birthday Offering of 1956, which has a brash, American sound to it. Collectors of big-hearted 20th century music will not fail to snap up these vividly imagined and richly orchestrated soundscapes. New Zealand Symphony Orchestra; James Judd. Naxos 8.557697 (New Zealand) 10I079 $7.98

JOHN HARBISON (b.1938): North and South: 6 Poems of Elizabeth Bishop for Mezzo-Soprano, English Horn, Clarinet, String Trio and Double Bass (Lorraine Hunt Lieberson [mezzo]), 6 American Painters for Flute and String Trio, The Three Wise Men (from Christmas Vespers) for Brass Quintet and Narrator, Book of Hours and Seasons: Goethe Settings for Voice, Flute, Cello and Piano (Emily Lodine [mezzo]). The two song cycles show a range from the blues-inspired settings of the Bishop poetry to the use of eastern modes in the Goethe cycle while the Painters are a set of brief evocations of paintings Harbison saw in the Met and the Wise Men is a warm depiction with a medieval cast (and plain-song), suggested by the many Flemish paintings of the scene. German-English texts. The Chicago Chamber Musicians. Naxos American Classics 8.559188 (U.S.A.) 10I080 $7.98

JOHN ADAMS (b.1947): Violin Concerto, JOHN CORIGLIANO (b.1938): Chaconne from The Red Violin, FRANZ WAXMAN (1906-1967): Tristan and Isolde Fantasia for Violin, Piano and Orchestra (Charles Owen [piano]), GEORGE ENESCU (1881-1955): Romanian Rhapsody No. 1 (arr. Waxman). While the Corigliano and Adams are both pretty well-known by now (and the latter's appeal is still fairly limited to minimalist collectors, although his concerto is actually as approachable to traditionalists as later Philip Glass is getting [see just below]), the rarities are the odd little, two-and-a-half minute Waxman "paraphrase" which apparently uses Enescu's violin/piano transcription and adjusts Enescu's orchestral version - just for the frantic final bit of the Rhapsody, and Waxman's Fantasia which originally formed the dramatic climax to the 1946 film "Humoresque" and which is a free conflation of elements from both the Prelude and the Liebestod of Wagner's opera. Chloë Hanslip (violin), Royal Philharmonic Orchestra; Leonard Slatkin. Naxos American Classics 8.559302 (U.S.A.) 10I081 $7.98

TOMÁS MARCO (b.1942): Concierto del agua for Guitar and Orchestra, Laberinto marino for Cello and Orchestra, Sinfonietta No. 1, Oculto Carmen. The formidable structural and theoretical background that the composer brings to bear on his compositions - fractal geometry and chaos theory, as well as complex formal organisation of the works - and his studies with the leading avant garde luminaries of the 1960s, are factors that go only so far toward explaining the rich and diverse appeal of his music. The Sinfonietta is the most modern-sounding piece, and the least obviously tonal; it consists of a tautly structured series of episodes of contrasting character, that add up to a coherent, discursive whole. The 'Water Concerto' manages to incorporate all the elements that lend appeal to a neo-romantic guitar concerto, including several lively punctuating cadenzas, while also achieving a multi-layered, poetic and expressive argument of considerable complexity. Oculto carmen is mysterious and atmospheric, which may also be said of the more extended 'Marine Labyrinth', a work which combines the fluidity suggested by the title and embodied in the sinuous solo line with formal elegance and restraint, and which constantly breaks free into gorgeously neo-romantic gestures and episodes of heightened drama. Gabriel Estarellas (guitar), Dimitar Furnadjiev (cello), City of Oviedo Symphony Orchestra; Gregorio Gutiérrez. Verso VRS 2032 (Spain) 10I082 $17.98

YOSHIHISA TAÏRA (b.1937): Trichromie, Diffraction, Dimorphie, Hierophonie V. The enormous diversity of expression accessible through the medium of percussion is exploited fully in these works. Trichromie progresses from persistent pounding drums, straightforwardly rhythmic, to the gradual introduction of pitched material and the delicate sounds of chimes, bells and resonating percussion instruments. Diffraction begins with insistently repeated chordal material, oddly reminiscent of a kind of proto-Messiaenic harmony, which is then diffracted, as the title suggests, through the introduction of material of more indeterminate pitch in shimmering tremolos. Dimorphie is nature-music, opening with amorphous sounds of gongs and chimes and introducing quasi-onomatopoeic evocations of thunder, insects and water. Hierophonie V begins with aggressive, preverbal vocalisations by the percussionists, and the whole has a sense of ritualised dramatic narrative, compelling as it is unsettling, as the human voices fall silent in a central section of ethereal detachment, before re-emerging over a more rhythmically structured beat at the end. Percussions Rhizome. Nocturne/MFA S203 (France) 10I083 $18.98

NICOLAS BACRI (b.1961): Notturno for Oboe and String Orchestra, 3 Cantatas, Op. 33: "Vitae abdicatio" for Mezzo-Soprano, Oboe, Mixed Choir and Orchestra; "Coplas de Don Jorge Manrique por la muerte" for Mixed Choir; "Vita et Mors" for Mezzo-Soprano, Cello and Orchestra), Cantata No. 4, Op. 44 "Sonnet LXVI de Shakespeare" for Mezzo-Soprano and String Orchestra, Cantata No. 5 "Isitasunaren Ortzadarra" for Mezzo-Soprano, Choir and Orchestra, Motets de souffrance et de consolation, Op. 59, Nos. 2 "Quare tristis es" and 3 "Ego vir videns paupertam meam", Motet No. 7, Op. 71 for Women's Choir "O lux beatissima", Benedicat Israël Domino - Triptyque Mystique, Op. 64 for A Capella Choir. These cantatas and motets are the fruit of the highly personal æsthetic of a composer who has made a deliberate turn towards Romanticism from a style which he acknowledges was previously heavily influenced by the Second Viennese school. Postmodern though not polystylistic, Bacri's music achieves a successful synthesis of styles ranging from Renaissance polyphony through the Baroque (and especially Bach) to the fullest flowering of Romantic subjective expression in music. This is not ultra-conservative music by any means; some of his dissonances hail from the 20th century - in the sense of Vaughan Williams, Holst, Orff, or Shostakovich (none of whose music Bacri's particularly resembles, the occasional phrase aside). Throughout the works - which use a wide range of texts, from Shakespeare (Cantata 4, very tonal, with a dark-hued melancholy beauty) to the Basque poet Joxe Antonio Artze (Cantata 5, a tour de force of changing moods and styles) to religious texts - the over-riding principle is that of the most direct expression of the most important themes of humanity - life and death, love and belief - without espousing a particular doctrine or school of musical technique. In this, and his aim of achieving a 'timeless classicism', a musical vocabulary suited to the eloquent conveyance of serious ideas and feelings, the composer seems to have succeeded admirably. 2 CDs. French texts. Isabelle Sengès, Sylvie Althaparro, Valérie Rio (mezzos), François Leleux (oboe), Yves Bouillier (cello), Orchestre et Chur Bayonne-Côte-Basque; Xavier Delette. l'empreinte digitale ED13170 (France) 10I084 $20.98

PHILIP GLASS (b.1937): The Concerto Project, Vol. 2 - Piano Concerto No. 2 "After Lewis and Clark", Harpsichord Concerto. Although the piano concerto of 2004 seems to look back to the hypnotic arpeggiations and slow harmonic shifts of earlier music, the second movement ("Sacagawea") offers a lovely use of the Native American flute and the polymetric complexity of the first movement and canonic experimentation in the finale can be worth getting to know better on repetition. What's fascinating about the harpsichord concerto (2002) is how Glass manages to marry baroque keyboard gestures to his characteristic language in the first two movements before taking the composition well into jazz territory in the finale with its syncopated rhythms and jazz bass lines. Paul Barnes (piano), R. Carlos Nakai (Indian flute), Jillon Stoppels Dupree (harpsichord), Northwest Chamber Orchestra; Ralf Gothóni. Orange Mountain Music OMM 0030 (U.S.A.) 10I085 $17.98

PHILIP GLASS (b.1937): Etoile Polaire, Dressed Like an Egg, Mad Rush. These early pieces are seminal works in Glass's musical history. In the late 1970's, Philip Glass was asked by two film producers, François de Menil and Barbara Rose, to write music for a film they were producing. The film was about Mark di Suvero, Sculptor and it was Glass's first film score. The score took its titles from the names of di Suvero sculptures shown in the film, including Etoile Polaire (North Star) and others. Dressed like an Egg is a never before released early Glass score which was written as incidental music to a theater production of 1977. Mad Rush, for organ, was originally used by choreographer Lucinda Childs for a dance of the same name. Philip Glass (keyboards), Joan La Barbara, Iris Hisky, Gene Rickard (vocals),Dickie Landry (saxophones, flute). Orange Mountain Music OMM 0029 (U.S.A.) 10I086 $17.98

HELEN STANLEY (b. mid 1930s?): Concerto Romantico (Czech Radio Symphony Orchestra; Vladimír Valek), NEWTON STRANDBERG (1921-2001): Viola Concerto (Silesian Philharmonic Orchestra; Jerzy Svoboda), ALFRED HOOSE (b.1918): Excursions (SPO; Svoboda), WILLIAM THOMAS MCKINLEY (b.1938): Concert Variations for Viola and Orchestra (Warsaw National Orchestra; Carl St. Clair). Stanley's concerto is a rich and impassioned specimen of the genre, conventional in form and warmly neo-romantic in mood and expression. The Strandberg shares a similar basic tonal vocabulary, with distinct echoes of Bartók and neoclassical Stravinsky (we get very close to gestures from the Symphony in 3 Movements at times, especially in the central movement). Hoose's Excursions is more free in form, blending a Coplandish directness of utterance and openness of texture with a darker, more chromatic idiom, allowing the eloquent tones of the solo instrument full rein. McKinley's Variations ­ effectively a double concerto, with violin joining the viola ­ sends an initially somber and ambiguous theme through a wide range of moods and textures from simple to elaborate, in the composer's familiar chromatic tonal idiom, always readily approachable while retaining the ability to surprise the listener. Karen Dreyfus (viola). MMC 2149 (U.S.A.) 10I087 $16.98

ANDERS KOPPEL (b.1947): Saxophone Concertos Nos. 1 and 2, Swan Song for Alto Saxophone, Harp and Strings. Another of Herman D. Koppel's kids hits the catalogues! Anders was a long-time rock band member in his 20s and early 30s in Denmark and later expanded into scoring for film, theatre and ballet while also being a member, with his son Benjamin, of a group active in improvisation and Balkan music. These two concertos, from 1992 and 2003, move freely between classical and popular musical traditions, providing much virtuosic work for the soloist, often in improvisational style. The orchestration is rich and colorful and the music should appeal to anyone who doesn't put musical styles into separate, unmixable containers. Benjamin Koppel (saxes), Odense Symphony Orchestra; Nicolae Moldoveanu. Dacapo 8.226036 (Denmark) 10I088 $15.98

BECHARA EL-KHOURY (b.1957): New York, Tears and Hope, Op. 65, Les Fleuves engloutis, Op. 64, Violin Sextet, Op. 58 (London Symphony Orchestra; Daniel Harding, Martyn Brabbins), Waves for Piano, Op. 60 (Hidéki Nagano), Fragments oubliés for Piano, Op. 66 (Dimitri Vassilakis). This is a good time for this Franco-Lebanese composer; he is getting commissions from top quality sources and is being performed by the finest orchestras. Those of you who've bought his ten-year-old series of recordings reissued on Naxos (from the Forlane label) will be even more delighted at the maturing of his voice evident here. The notes adduce Martinu, Schoenberg, Nono and Penderecki as examples of composers who've responded to acts of human barbarism and, while history is always going to be the ultimate judge, El-Khoury's 9/11 piece sounds like it will last - tough, uncompromising, unsentimental. Les Fleuves (2001) is even better - a 13-minute work in six sections which evokes elemental, unstoppable power and horror and suffering as impressively as it meditates on unimaginable depths of the spirit and universe. Everything here is a first recording, Les Fleuves is live, adding to the gripping intensity of the work itself. In the old days, you'd say "Buy El-Khoury now before he gets picked up by a full-price, major label!" But who knows what's going to happen to such composers in today's industry? Naxos 8.570134 (New Zealand) 10I089 $7.98

JIRÍ GEMROT (b.1957): Violin Sonata, SYLVIE BODOROVÁ (b.1954): Concerto dei fiori for Violin and Piano, MIROSLAV KUBICKA (b.1951): Violin Sonata, PETR JANDA (b.1959): Forgotten Time. Gemrot's sonata breaks no new ground either formally or harmonically, but within the rhythmically incisive sonata-form structure of the first movement and the passacaglia of the finale he achieves a satisfyingly direct and emotionally charged work of great eloquence, somewhat in the manner of Shostakovich. Bodorová's piece begins wistfully, then develops into a more vigorous mode paying tribute to Baroque models, then after a virtuosic cadenza, subsides again, and ends with a quotation from Bach. Like Bodorová, Kubicka has utilised the advanced techniques of the 20th century, his sonata, from its dramatic opening movement, via a humorous scherzo to its meditative finale, is firmly grounded in traditional harmony and forms. Janda's Forgotten Time too, is a frankly neo-romantic work, with a strong narrative thread and immediately accessible harmonic language. Silvie Hessová (violin), Daniel Wiesner (piano). Cube Bohemia CBCD2632 (Czech Republic) 10I090 $16.98

BRIAN FERNEYHOUGH (b.1943): Funérailles I for 7 Strings and Harp, Bone Alphabet for Percussion, Unsichtbare Farben for Violin, Funérailles II for 7 Strings and Harp. Characteristically complex, these ensemble pieces are also, perhaps surprisingly, redolent of a kind of somewhat detached emotional expressiveness - at least, if you can get past the unrelentingly experimental textures and near-total atonality. Funérailles I in particular, though supposedly not intentionally 'funereal' in character, is a slow-moving work with a definite sense of progression and direction, set in closely registered textures, that is difficult not to hear as perhaps a distant, distorted memory of a solemn cortège. The more fragmentary-textured Funérailles II is a commentary on the earlier work, incorporating some of the same material. The solo violin work is a typically Ferneyhoughic exploration of the technical possibilities of the instrument; for a fleeting moment as it begins one is reminded of Bartók, but almost immediately the music starts leaping about, revealing every imaginable level of hyperactivity. Bone Alphabet suggests a highly sophisticated - and surprisingly intimate - examination of the fundamental resources of musical material, in a fascinating kaleidoscope of interlocking timbral and rhythmic possibilities. ensemble recherche; Lucas Vis, Arditti String Quartet, Christian Dierstein (percussion). Stradivarius STR 33739 (Italy) 10I091 $17.98

JOSÉ M. SÁNCHEZ-VERDÚ (b.1968): Ahmar-aswad for Orchestra, Paisajes del placer y de la culpa for Orchestra (Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra; P. Rophé, P. Rundel), Arquitecturas de la ausencia for Cello Octet (Cello Octet Conjunto Iberico; E. Arizcuren), Qabriyyat for String Orchestra (Ensemble Oriol Berlin; Ilan Volkov), Machaut-architektur V for Ensemble (Taller Sonoro), Trio III "Wie ein Hauch aus Licht und Schatten" for Piano Trio (Trio Dhamar), Arquitecturas del silencio for Accordion (Esteban Algora ). The composer makes use of a wide palette of coloristic effects from his various ensembles, frequently involving radically extended playing techniques - for example, the 'breathing' and percussive sounds produced by the string ensembles in Arquitecturas and Qabriyyat. On the level of fine detail, the composer's gestures suggest calligraphy or the repeated patterning of Islamic decoration, both of which have served as inspiration for his music. In the orchestral works this detail elaborates structures composed of familiar sounds, even conventional chords, used as pivotal or anchoring points for the musical narrative. The suggestion of strange, huge spaces evoked in 2003's Paisajes for is an especially successful realisation of Sánchez-Verdú's highly individual approach to composition. Columna Musica 1CM0142 (Spain) 10I092 $17.98

ALEXANDRE RABINOVITCH-BARAKOVSKY (b.1945): Maithuna for Orchestra (Orchestra di Padova e del Veneto; Alexandre Rabinovitch-Barakovsky), Jiao for String Orchestra, Amplified Vibraphone and Amplified Campanelli, Amplified Celesta and Amplfied Clavinova (Ensemble "Musiques Nouvelles"; Jean-Paul Dessy). Two works that form part of the composer's ongoing 'Anthology of Archaic Rituals' project, a kind of quest for a Grand Unified Theory of Eastern Philosophy. Maithuna is inspired by rituals of union symbolising the positive energy that results from bringing together two components to make a whole; Jiao deals with ancestor worship. Those familiar with Rabinovitch's work will find this a wholly satisfying continuation of his familiar style of romantic minimalism, employing his trademark intricate modal-chromatic patterns, brightly scintillating bell sounds and the employment of electronic instruments to expand the instrumental color palette. If there is a tendency for his works to use the same chord progressions and arpeggiated gestures rather consistently, one might argue that they function as mantras in a trusted ritualistic sense, and his constant ebb and flow of tension and resolution is invariably immensely satisfying. Megadisc MDC 7802 (Belgium) 10I093 $17.98

WILLIAM SHELLER (b.19): Trumpet Concerto, RICHARD GALLIANO (b.1950): 3 danses for Trumpet, Accordion and Orchestra, MICHEL COLOMBIER (1939-2004): Nuit et solitude for Trumpet and Orchestra. These works are by composers with considerable reputations outside the concert hall - in film music, popular song, as writers and arrangers for jazz, rock and popular performers etc. All demonstrate the fluency and popular appeal that come readily to musicians working in that field, but they are not 'light' works as such, and in no sense insubstantial. Sheller's concerto is an attractive and lively, rather neoclassical essay in the form, melodically and harmonically warm and inviting, like gallicized George Lloyd. Sharing the spotlight with the trumpet on his own instrument, the accordion, Galliano's jazzy syncopated rhythms lend a Bernsteinish feel to the high-energy first dance, with its middle-eastern overtones. The second, an accompanied duet for the soloists, displays the composer's background in French popular song, while the third, an irresistible, foot-tapping tango, could be a popular number by Piazzolla (a close friend of the composer). Colombier's piece is a warmly romantic nocturne, somewhere between the overheated late romanticism of the early 20th century and the more recent film scores that borrow so heavily from it. Thierry Caens (trumpet), Richard Galliano (accordion), Orchestre National de Lyon; Michel Plasson. Etcetera KTC 1304 (Netherlands) 10I094 $17.98

PATRICIA JÜNGER (b.1951): Heller Schein for Mezzo-Soprano, Chamber Orchestra and Percussion (Eva Csapò [mezzo], Collegium Musicum Zürich; Patricia Jünger), Valse éternelle - ein Brief for Speaker and Instrumental & Electronic Sampling (Christa Berndl [speaker]). Both works explore a theme central to Jünger's work; the fate of creative women in society (the subject of the radio play Valse éternelle is Milena Jesenska, translator - and lover - of Franz Kafka). Heller Schein is a concert work for ensemble, a medium from which the composer has increasingly turned away, concentrating on works with recorded and electroacoustic components, for less formal and academic, more 'publicly' dramatic effect - of which Valse is an early example. Schein does not deny its antecedents, demonstrably including Schoenberg and even Mahler, but Valse avoids the conventions of the concert hall entirely, employing processed samples of instrumental sounds (sometimes recalling, as though a distant memory, the conventions of the European post-romantic tradition) alongside electronically generated music as part of a sophisticated sonic tapestry in which the message and drama are paramount. Musiques Suisses Grammont Portrait MGB CTS-M 99 (Switzerland) 10I095 $18.98

BEAT FURRER (b.1954): FAMA for Large Ensemble, 8 Voices, Actress and Soundstructure. Taking its inspiration from a passage in Ovid's 'Metamorphoses' describing a place which resonates with all the sounds and events in the world, Fama is an ambitious work of 'aural theatre' in eight scenes. The work has a plot, taken from Schnitzler's novel 'Fräulein Else', and the action, the interplay of sounds and rumors from every quarter, consists of Else's interior monologues and the intruding stimuli of her environment, hostile and frequently inexplicable, but resonating uncontrollably nonetheless, unable to be shut out, as in Fama's house to which all rumors come and which has no doors to shut them out. It follows that a work such as this would employ spatial and acoustical (in this case, not electronic) experimentation as a component of its form, and the vocal and instrumental sounds as they reach the listener are constantly changing and shifting, reinforcing the effect of experiencing them through someone else's consciousness. The musical material is of free form, at times settling into uneasy passages of hypnotic calm suggesting a sinister take on 'new age' meditation; at others, disturbed and disturbingly fragmentary, utilising noise effects and extended playing techniques, to weave a strange acoustic tapestry. Isabelle Menke (speaker), Neue Vocalsolisten Stuttgart, Klangforum Wien; Beat Furrer. Kairos 0012562KAI (Austria) 10I096 $15.98

BEAT FURRER (b.1954): Donaueschinger Musiktage 2005, Vol. 1 - FAMA for Large Ensemble, 8 Voices, Actress and Soundstructure. Or, if you prefer, there's this live, world premiere version (this makes a lot of sense, doesn't it?). Isabelle Menke (speaker), Neue Vocalsolisten Stuttgart, Klangforum Wien; Beat Furrer. col legno SACD hybrid WWE 1SACD 20612 (Germany) 10I097 $19.98

BERNHARD LANG (b.1957): Donaueschinger Musiktage 2005, Vol. 2 - DW 17: Doubles/Schatten II for Electric Viola, Electric Cello and Orchestra. Lang's music uses the full resources of orchestra, live electronics and two electronically enhanced soloists to emulate, or evoke, the sort of sounds and textures familiar in certain types of rock music, replete with distorted electric guitars and the kind of thumping rhythmic persistence that is supposed to set 'classical' and 'popular' music apart. As with Dai Fujikura's recent adoption of DJs' turntable technique into the interaction between instrumental ensembles, this trend suggests that the discoveries in sonic textures afforded by studio and performance methods in 'popular' music have now become part of the background of our culture to the extent that they can be mined for any purpose by avant-gardistes with wholly different aims and intentions from the original practitioners of the techniques from which they are borrowing. From one standpoint, this is music which, enveloped in a constant atonal/microtonal haze, sounds like just the sort of thing you would expect of a piece of post-Darmstadt orchestral music; from another, the popular antecedents are plainly audible, making the music instantly appealing on a visceral level, and strangely familiar-sounding. Dimitrios Polioidis, (viola); Michael Moser, (cello); Experimentalstudio der Heinrich-Strobel-Stiftung des SWR, Freiburg; SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden und Freiburg; Sylvain Cambreling. col legno SACD hybrid WWE 1SACD 20613 (Germany) 10I098 $19.98

WOLFGANG MITTERER (b.1958): Mixture V for Organ and Electronics, die zeit spielt keine rolle for Organ, vox acuta for Organ, bwv.org for Organ and Electronics. Mitterer's pieces contain a sense of gleeful experimentation and the sense of grandeur and excitement for which listeners have been drawn to conventional organ music for centuries. Mixture V starts with vaguely amorphous 'modern' organ textures, in which tonal referents appear like efflorescing crystals; when Mitterer suddenly introduces a pounding Le sacre-ish 'orchestral' percussive rhythm, or later, a persistent pedal point is introduced, the gestures add an immediately familiar sense of structure to the work's fascinating textures, and aids the listener's navigation through the work's 20-plus minute span. die zeit builds increasingly complex clusters from simple beginnings, while Vox acuta, a highly virtuosic display piece, incorporates the 'accidents' of live organ performance (stuck keys and the like) into a quasi-improvisatory piece that sounds as though someone had performed 'cut up' technique on tapes of Messiaen. bwv.org overlays electronic effects and sampled sounds on a vaguely tonal-sounding background - a palimpsest adopted as the ground for a spatter painting - creating a form of musique concrete in which it is hard to say where the live performance component begins and the veiled, pre-recorded memories end. Wolfgang Mitterer (organ, electronics). col legno SACD hybrid WWE 1SACD 20615 (Germany) 10I099 $19.98

CHRISTIAN JOST (b.1963): Angst. A formal experiment in composing 'an opera for choir' (in which the drama is conducted without individual characters or stage action), Angst is a five-movement 'journey into the essence of fear'. Put aside at once any idea of 'frightening' music, some sort of primal screamfest; Jost's music is as subtle and intricate as the many layers of emotional complexity covered by the general idea of fear. The narrative with which the piece originated is a factual account of a mountaineer who allowed his injured colleague to fall in order to preserve his own life, with all the attendant emotional, psychological and philosophical considerations that may be derived from such an extreme set of circumstances. The severed rope becomes a metaphor for the thread of fate; the solitude, physical danger, intense cold and the horror of the choice finally taken by the individual in extremis are examined from every angle, in music that exploits every possibility of massed human voices. Thus we hear speech, sprechstimme, polyphony, rich chordal masses and dissonant clusters, underpinned by instrumental and ensemble contributions of restrained eloquence - and where required, explosive impact. Ultimately more harrowing through its unswervingly serious examination of the disturbing implications of the text than a more obviously dramatic interpretation of the story would be, this is a work of considerable power and undeniable emotional impact. Berlin Radio Choir, musikFabrik; Simon Halsey. Coviello Classics COV 60609 (Germany) 10I100 $17.98

EMMERICH KÁLMÁN (1882-1953): Die Herzogin von Chicago. Staged in period (i.e. the period when it was premiered - 1928) costumes, this is the only currently available version of "The Dutchess of Chicago" in any format. English subtitles. 4:3 (TV) format. 2.0 Stereo or Dolby Digital 5/1 Surround. Mehrzad Montazeri (tenor), Norine Burgess (mezzo), Renée Schüttengruber (soprano), Vienna Volksoper Chorus, Vienna State Opera Orchestra; Michael Tomaschek. Capriccio DVD 93509 (Germany) 10I101 $31.98 >

JOHANN STRAUSS I (1804-1849): Edition, Vol. 9 - Gedanken-Striche Walzer, Op. 79, Galopp nach Motiven aus der Oper "Die Hugenotten" von Meyerbeer, Op. 93, Huldigungs-Walzer, Op. 80, Indianer-Galopp, Op. 111, Grazien-Tänze, Op. 81, Furioso-Galopp on Motifs from Liszt, Op. 114, Philomelen-Walzer, Op. 82, Gibellinen-Galopp, Op. 117, Merkurs Flügel, Op. 83, Musikalischer Telegraph, 5. Potpourri, Op. 106. This new volume features music from the 1830s, the very height of Strauss' fame in Vienna. Slovak Sinfonietta Zilina; Christian Pollack. Marco Polo 8.225285 (New Zealand) 10I102 $9.98

English String Miniatures, Vol. 6

ADAM CARSE (1878-1958): The Winton Suite, PAUL CARR (b.1961): A Very English Music, LIONEL SAINSBURY (b.1958): 2 Nocturnes, MALCOLM LIPKIN (b.1932): From Across La Manche, PAUL LEWIS (b.1943): Rosa Mundi, WILLIAM LLOYD WEBBER (1914-1982): Waltz in E Minor, PETER WARLOCK (1894-1930): Bethlehem Down (arr. Philip Lane), GUSTAV HOLST (1874-1934): A Moorside Suite (arr. Philip Lane), HENRY PURCELL (1659-1695): Chacony in G Minor (ed. Benjamin Britten). The latest batch includes a figure known for his large collection of old wind instruments, his books on the development of the classical and romantic orchestras and editions of early Classical symphonies - Adam Carse; learning that Malcolm Lipkin studied with Bernard Stevens and Matyas Seiber and has written three symphonies makes one wish to hear something other than light music but, then, light music is what this series is about... Royal Ballet Sinfonia; Gavin Sutherland. Naxos 8.557753 (New Zealand) 10I103 $7.98

GRÉCO CASADESUS (b.1951): The Three Musketeers - Music from the Film. Oddly, this Casadesus is the first cousing of Robert even though the latter was born in 1899. Gréco settled into a career as a film/TV composer in the early 1990s and wrote this score for the 2001 restoration of a 1921 French silent film version of Dumas' classic. Opulently scored, at times plainly following the pace of a silent film, always richly romantic, this will appeal to film-score collectors and others as well. Bulgarian Symphony Orchestra; Dejan Pavlov. Opus Millesime GCK 20051 (France) 10I104 $17.98

GRAZYNA BACEWICZ (1909-1969): Violin Sonatas Nos. 2-5, Partita, Humoreske, Kolysanka, Witraz, Melodia, 2 Oberki, Concertino, Caprice, 3 Dances, Theme with Variations, Sonata da camera. Richly communicative and full of emotion, these pieces, are also often drivingly motoric and produce a cumulative effect which is quite exciting. All five violin/piano sonatas are together for the first time and admirers of this composer are unlikely to find a more complete set of works in this genre on disc. 2 CDs. Piotr Plawner (violin), Ewa Kupiec (piano). Hännsler Classic CD 93.117 (Germany) 10I105 $35.98

PETER WARLOCK (1894-1930): 6 English Tunes, 6 Italian Dance Tunes, Serenade for Strings, The Curlew, Capriol Suite. We offered this as a special import back in 2001. When released, the English Tunes and Italian Dance Tunes were world premiere recordings so, if you missed them the first time, here's your second chance. London Festival Orchestra; Ross Pople. Original 1996 release. Arte Nova ANO 378680 (Germany) 10I106 $4.98

BEDRICH SMETANA (1824-1884): The Kiss. The 1952 recording by the finest Czech opera conductor of his generation will be welcome to historical collectors. A 1980 stereo version of this gently, lyrical comedy of morals, premiered in 1876 (written after the deaf composer was forced out of his position at the Provisional Theatre) is now out of print. 2 CDs. Czech-English libretto. Ludmila Cervinková (soprano), Beno Blachut (tenor), Karel Kalas (bass), Prague National Theatre Chorus and Orchestra; Zdenek Chalabala. Original 1955 Supraphon release. Supraphon SU 3878 (Czech Republic) 10I107 $21.98