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Cowen & Coleridge-Taylor


FREDERIC COWEN (1852-1935): Symphony No. 6 in E, "Idyllic", SAMUEL COLERIDGE-TAYLOR (1875-1912): Symphony in A Minor. Although written within a year or so of each other in 1896-7, these two symphonies inhabit different worlds. Coleridge-Taylor's was written while he was a student of Stanford at the RCM. The latter thought enough of it to have Hans Richter present at a college run-through but, unfortunately, he wasn't happy with the finale and the young composer gave up after his fourth version was rejected. The symphony, as recorded here, is probably in the form it was given at Bournemouth in 1900 and this recording is the first professional performance of it since that date. The music? Dvorák Symphony No. 9.0.1 as far as its style and North American Indian pentatonic scherzo. Still obviously a student work but full of beautiful melodies and anyone who has collected Coleridge-Taylor up to now will not want to be without it. Anyone who found Marco Polo's Cowen Third to be rather gray will be galvanized by this symphony, whose tunefulness and urbanity look back to Schumann and Mendelssohn and make it required listening for all collectors who value the symphonies of Harty, Stanford and Parry. Aarhus Symphony Orchestra; Douglas Bostock. Classico CLASSCD 684 (Denmark) 09I001 $17.98

Number of exclusive items in this month's catalogue (Ø): 15


1. Now that the summer vacation period is over, I'm looking forward to forgetting the last two months which were the second worst two-month period I've had since taking over RI. Tower Records should be dead and gone by the end of next January. They've filed Chapter 11 for the second time in four years and this time they are being put up for auction in bankruptcy court. Analysts expect whoever buys them to keep the trade name (and, probably, the Tower web-site) and to liquidate the stores and their inventory. This threatens small, independent distributors from whom I get much of these hard-to-find titles since Tower will never pay the outstanding invoices they owe, nor will they return their stock. The knock-on effect can carry all the way to the little, independent record labels too. So, the question is: if the best store in the country to find unusual repertoire is dying, why isn't my business better? Just wondering...

2. Volumes 9-11 of the Talich Edition on Supraphon are in stock. Just ask if you are collecting them (there was no room in the printed catalogue).

3. Marc-André Hamelin collectors: if you want his newest Hyperion release (Brahms Piano Concerto No. 2 and 4 Pieces, Op. 119), just ask. I have a small number in stock but, there was no room to list standard repertoire in the catalogue.

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

YORK BOWEN (1884-1961): Violin Concerto in E Minor, Op. 33, Piano Concerto No. 1 in E Flat, Op. 11. The 19-year-old composer was the soloist in the premiere of his first piano concerto which is everything you'd expect of a bright young man writing in this period - a bright and flashy first movement followed by a scherzo in the manner of Litolff or Saint-Saëns and a big, brassy, Tchaikovskian finale. Dating from 1913, the violin concerto (at 38 minutes, half again as long as the briefer piano concerto) is a major discovery in the "Late British Romantic Tradition", with echoes here and there of Elgar (whose violin concerto only predated Bowen by three years). As the September Gramophone puts it: "...another substantial, exquisitely scored and unjustly forgotten Bowen gem which lovers of the Tchaikovsky, Elgar and Delius concertos should waste no time in seeking out." Lorraine McAslan (violin), Michael Dussek (piano), BBC Concert Orchestra; Vernon Handley. Dutton Epoch CDLX 7169 (England) 09I002 $18.98

WILLIAM ALWYN (1905-1985): String Quartets No. 1 in D Minor, No. 2 "Spring Waters" and No. 3, 3 Winter Poems. Alwyn's first acknowledged quartet (there are 13 [!] student quartets) dates from 1953 and is an excellent example of pure music coming from the period between his second and third symphonies. The two remaining quartets are late works, suffused with (although not overwhelmed by) the emotions of a man looking back on a long, productive life, the Second bearing a sub-title from Turgenev's novel and whose three movements suggest the disillusionment of finding youth squandered, youth viewed from old age, and a bleak final fugue which, nevertheless ends on a triumphant note - not a solution for the Third, which Alwyn heard premiered three months before his death and which closes with an elegiac and quietly resigned second movement. The Winter Poems are even earlier than the first quartet, dating from 1948 - atmospheric works evoking the mood of the season and unperformed until the middle of last year. Rasumovsky Quartet. Dutton Epoch CDLX 7168 (England) 09I003 $18.98

CYRIL SCOTT (1879-1970): Complete Piano Music, Vol. 3 - Impromptu (A Mountain Brook), Op. 41, Chimes, Op. 40/3, Columbine, Op. 47/2, Andante and Largo (Studies for two slow movements), Ballade No. 1 in D Minor, Prelude No. 1 "Op. 37", Egypt, Karma, Inclination à la danse, An English Waltz, Op. 15, For 2 Pianos: Russian Fair, Theme and Variations, 3 Dances, 2 Movements from Impressions from the Jungle Book, 3 Symphonic Dances, Op. 22 (arr. Percy Grainger), Bach Arragements and Transcriptions: Invention in F (from Two-part Invention No. 8, BWV 779), Sarabande in A Minor (from English Suite No. 2, BWV 807), Gigue in G (from French Suite No. 5,BWV 816), Andante in F (from Sonata in D Minor, BWV 964), Jig Fugue in G (from Fugue for Organ, BWV 577). This series again produces value for money with the second 2-for-1 offering. One full disc contains two-piano (with one duet score - the Dances) works, mostly conceived for the performance of Scott and Esther Fisher with the Theme and Variations (1933) being the most ambitious and characteristic of the period of the second piano sonata. The five Bach transcriptions, taking plenty of liberties with the originals, are delightful. The second disc has four unpublished works of c.1898-1904 - two studies, a ballade and a prelude - which are in the late Romantic style of his German study years. Also of note are two ballet suites full of faux-oriental mysticism (Egypt of 1913 and Karma from 1924). 2 CDs for the price of 1. Leslie De'Ath (piano), Anya Alexeyev (second piano). Dutton Epoch CDLX 7166 (England) 09I004 $18.98

ALAN RAWSTHORNE (1905-1971): Complete Piano Music - Ballade, Sonatina, Valse, Ballade in G Sharp Minor, 4 Bagatelles, 4 Romantic Pieces, Theme and 4 Studies, The Creel for Piano Duet, CONSTANT LAMBERT (1905-1951): 3 Pièces Negres for Piano Duet. For a composer who wrote two sizeable piano concertos, Rawsthorne wrote very little for the solo keyboard and each of these pieces, which range in time from 1926 to 1967, has a character all their own, from the Chopinesque early Valse and Christmas "ramble" Ballade (the one in G sharp minor) through the Bagatelles (which have the mature Rawsthorne sound of the contemporary orchestral Symphonic Studies) to the late Ballade, the biggest work here at just over 12 minutes whose narrative structure and pianistic demands make it the most virtuosic of all these pieces. John McCabe (piano), Tamami Honma (duet piano). Dutton Epoch CDLX 7167 (England) 09I005 $18.98

NIELS VIGGO BENTZON (1919-2000): Symphony No. 8, Op. 113 "Sinfonia Discrezione", Symphonic Variations, Op. 92. The Variations, of 1952, somewhat neo-romantic, very chromatic yet with an unwavering underlying sense of tonality, accumulate intensity as the work progresses with a sense of inexorable pulse toward the final climax. Hints of Nielsen, Sibelius and Hindemith temper but do not obscure Bentzon's individual voice. The powerful symphony (1957) is cast in a similar tonal mold, with a chilly, northern atmosphere predominating. Rhythmic propulsion and tonal progression provide forward momentum; long-breathed themes and aggressive climaxes vie for supremacy as the symphony progresses through a more or less traditional four-movement structure which sometimes strongly suggests Shostakovich, as in the extended, somber, uneasy opening of the slow movement, or the climax of the last. Not a programmatic work, the symphony possesses so clear a sense of direction that it seems to suggest some narrative of epic struggle in a bleak landscape; it certainly deserves to be counted among the major Scandinavian symphonies of the mid-20th century. Gothernburg-Aarhus Philharmonic; Douglas Bostock. Classico CLASSCD 622 (Denmark) 09I006 $17.98

PAUL PARAY (1886-1979): Symphony No. 1 in C, Symphony No. 2 in A "Le Tréport", Berceuse (orch. Perrone). The First (1934), reversing the typically French symphonic procedure of recalling the first movement's themes in the finale, gives foretastes of the themes in movements 2-4 at the end of the first movement, which is dramatic, optimistic and confident with a hint of Franck and Schmitt to it. The second movement is quintessentially French with its lightly-worn melancholy, evoked by solo cor anglais while the tender and graceful Allegretto third movement has a taste of Fauré. A light, mischievous alla scherzando final movement suggests the carefree spirit of the young Poulenc. The Second (1936-39) is much more in the late French Romantic tradition. A four-movement work of 43 minutes, it recalls the composer's early and subsequent life in the seaport of his birth (and the work's subtitle) with a sea chanty in the first movement, reminiscences of round dances in the second, a grieving sarabande slow movement (inspired by Paray's father's death) and a generally festive finale. Assumption Grotto Orchestra; Eduard Perrone. Grotto Productions GP-0009 (U.S.A.) 09I007 $12.98 Ø

PAUL PARAY (1886-1979): Fantaisie for Piano and Orchestra, Complete Solo Piano Music - D'une âme, Thème et Variations, Impromptu, Tarantelle, Portraits d'Enfants, Reflets romantiques, Sur la mer, Entêtement, Préludes in F Minor & E Flat Minor, Incertitude, Allegro, Scherzo, Valse-Caprice, Romance, Vertige, Scherzetto, Impressions, Valse sur un Thème de Schubert, Valses in F Minor & F Sharp Minor, Berceuse, Allegretto, La Vraie Furlana, Pièce for Piano Four Hands. With one exception these are all early works, written between 1903 and 1916 (a couple come from the prison camp in Darmstadt where Paray was a prisoner-of-war), before conducting became his life's work. The only piano-and-orchestra work dates from 1909 when Paray was still at the Conservatory in Paris and, though its form is based on Fauré's Ballade and Debussy's Fantaisie, the spirit is more that of Saint-Saëns and Franck. The solo pieces range from dances and character pieces which derive from Schumann to colorful Chabrier-like celebrations and also, of course, Impressionism. The exception is the 1930 Prélude in E flat minor which has a dark, somewhat melancholy, almost Slavic flavor. 2 CDs. Flavio Varani (piano), Assumption Grotto Orchestra; Eduard Perrone (piano secondo). Grotto Productions GP-0009 (U.S.A.) 09I008 $21.98 Ø

FRANK BRIDGE (1882-1971): Dramatic Fantasia, Gargoyle, JOHN IRELAND (1879-1962): Ballade of London Nights, BENJAMIN BRITTEN (1913-1976): 5 Waltzes, A Little Idyll, Night Piece, LENNOX BERKELEY (1903-1989): 6 Preludes, Op. 23, RONALD STEVENSON (b.1928): Sonatina Serenissima, COLIN MATTHEWS (b.1946): 5 Studies. A nicely balanced program of rare British piano music by composers associated with Britten (plus an astonishingly accomplished piece of juvenilia and a beautifully atmospheric mature work by Britten himself). Stevenson's tribute to Britten uses a musical monogram of the composer's name and typically ingenious references to his works in a concise yet characteristically eloquent and emotionally charged four-movement piece. Matthews was working as Britten's amanuensis when he composed his Studies, which display Britten's influence in their harmonic language and elegant clarity. The Berkeley Preludes are also studies in refined expressiveness, while Bridge (an early piece and a late, startlingly experimental one full of Prokofiev-like grotesquerie) and Ireland provide atmospheric late-Romantic drama. Anthony Goldstone (piano). Original 1991 Gamut release. Divine Art 24118 (England) 09I009 $16.98

ERNST LÉVY (1895-1981): Sonata Strophica, Sonata for Ten. Lévy was a polymathic intellect, the diversity of whose activities may have worked to some extent against his recognition in any field. A prolific composer, his closely argued and meticulously crafted works seem to have remained obscure, much as his highly individual interpretations as pianist have been regarded as controversial and have not gained wide recognition. The Sonata Strophica is an intellectually rigorous work, to be sure, but it would be a mistake to regard it as academically dry; neoclassical clarity of texture enfolds a range of content which may be readily appreciated to be passionate, emotional and dramatic. Tonal, contrapuntally intricate and making thorough use of ingeniously applied formal devices, these elegant, slightly harmonically acerbic works (both late, from the composer's final years) illuminate a fine creative mind, the range of whose accomplishments we are only beginning to appreciate. Members of the National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra; David Oberg. Opus One CD 194 (U.S.A.) 09I010 $11.98

PAVEL HAAS (1899-1944): String Quartet No. 2 "From the Monkey Mountains", LEOS JANÁCEK (1854-1928): String Quartet No. 2 "Intimate Letters". The only previous recording of Haas' second quartet was in Decca's "Entartete Musik" series back in 1994. Dating from 1925, it's a four-movement piece which engagingly mixes late Romantic style and tone-painting (the movements are headed "Landscape", "Coach, Coachman and Horse", "The Moon and I..." and "Wild Night") with infusions of jazz-inspired music (as well as echoes of Janácek). What makes this new release stand out is the performance of the percussion part in the "Wild Night" final movement which was only discovered sometime in the late 70s or 80s and which was not recorded on the aforementioned Decca version. Pavel Haas Quartet, Colin Currie (percussion). Supraphon SU 3877 (Czech Republic) 09I011 $16.98

HENRY COWELL (1897-1965): Violin Sonata, GEORGE ANTHEIL (1900-1959): Violin Sonata No. 2, JOHANNA BEYER (1888-1944): Suite, RUTH CRAWFORD SEEGER (1901-1953): Nocturne, LARRY POLANSKY (b.1954): Movement in E major for John Cage, CHARLES DODGE (b.1942): Etudes II and IV for Violin and Tape, STEFAN WOLPE (1902-1972): Second Piece for Solo Violin, DAVID MAHLER (b.1944): Maxfield's Reel for Solo Violin. Collectors of early 20th century Americana will want this release (the second this month of American music recorded in Australia) for Cowell's very conservative sonata from 1945 which is related to his Hymns and Fuging Tunes, Antheil's expectedly jazzy and cheeky eight-minute piece from 1923, Crawford's unexpectedly tonal and conservative little Nocturne of the same year and Beyer's much tougher suite (1937) which uses the "dissonant counterpoint" Crawford worked in later in her career. The remaining pieces (from the 60s thorugh the 90s) range from minimalism to free atonality and avant-garde experimentation. Miwako Abe (violin), Michael Kieran Harvey (piano). New World 80641-2 (U.S.A.) 09I012 $16.98

DOMENICO SCARLATTI (1685-1757): Cantatas: Con qual cor mi chiedi pace?, Fille, già più non parlo, Qual pensier, quale ardire, No, no fuggire and Ti ricorda, o bella Irene, Keyboard Sonatas K. 77, 215 & 277. The texts to these cantatas may be by Metastasio and they were probably written for Farinelli as he wound down his career in private service to the king of Spain. Rather on the cutting edge at the time, the emotions of the anguish of love dispensed with the baroque tradition of not mixing "affects" and the manner in which Scarlatti depicts the distraction and emotional turmoil of the protagonist would have sat well in C.P.E. Bach's contemporary world of Empfindsamkeit. In addition, since fortepianos by Cristofori and Ferrini were known to exist at the Spanish court, one is used for both the sonatas and as a continuo instrument. The accompanying DVD contains, as well as excerpts from two of the cantatas here, a portrait of the, um, shall we say, flamboyant? Cencic which is worth watching even if only for the home movie segments of him singing the Queen of the Night coloraturas as a five-year-old (yes, really!). Italian-English texts. CD and DVD included. Max Emanuel Cencic (countertenor), Maya Amrein (cello), Yasunori Imamura (theorbo, baroque guitar), Aline Zylberajch (fortepiano). Capriccio 67 173 (Germany) 09I013 $23.98 >

JACQUES-CHRISTOPHE NAUDOT (c.1690-1762): Fête rustique No. 6 in G for Hurdy-Gurdy, Flute and Continuo, JEAN-BAPTISTE DUPUITS (d.1759): L'Obligeant for Hurdy-Gurdy and Bass Viol, 5 selections from 2ième Suite d'amusement en duo for Flute and Hurdy-Gurdy, 2 selections from Pièces de caractère for Flute and Hurdy-Gurdy, MICHON (fl.1740-50): Première suite en divertiseement for Hurdy-Gurdy and Continuo, 6 songs arranged for Hurdy-Gurdy, THOMAS DUFOUR (c.1721-1786): La vielle and Menuet for Harpsichord, JEAN DE SAINTE-COLOMBE (c.1658-1701): La vielle for Bass Viol, and arrangements of popular melodies for Hurdy-Gurdy by Toussaint Bordet (1755), Michel Blavet (1700-1768) and Michel Corrette (1707-1795). OK, hurdy-gurdy fans (and we know there are a few of you out there!), here's a collection of two-thirds music for the instrument and one-third music which imitates or evokes it, all from the French late baroque period and all pretty rare too. Robert Green (hurdy-gurdy), Lee Chapman (guitar), Myrna Herzog (quinton), Bozena Jedrzejczak (harpsichord), Peter Middleton (flute), Lisa Nielson (bass viol). Focus 950 (U.S.A.) 09I014 $16.98

FRANTISEK IGNÁC TUMA (1704-1774): Responsoria for the Holy Week, Stabat Mater, BOHUSLAV MATEJ CERNOHORSKY (1684-1742): Laudetur Jesus Christus, JAN DISMAS ZELENKA (1679-1745): Psalm 112, in F, ZWV 82, Litaniae Omnium Sactorum in A Minor, ZWV 153: Sancte Peter, Responsoria pro Hebdomada Sancta, AWV 55: In coena Domine & Tristis est anima mea. This recital of Czech baroque vocal music offers two works by the little-recorded Tuma whose style looks forward ever so slightly to the galant. Veronika Kopecká (soprano), Ondrej Kopecky (cello), Ondrej Melecky (double bass), Jana Hurníková, Marta Nemcová (organ), Gaudium Pragense; Lukás Hurník. Multisonic 31 0652 (Czech Republic) 09I015 $13.98

CARL PHILIPP EMANUEL BACH (1714-1788): Keyboard Concertos, Vol. 15 - Concertos in D Minor, Wq 23 and in B Flat, Wq 39, Sonatina in E Flat, Wq 105, Solo Keyboard Music, Vol. 15 - Sonatas in A Minor, Wq65/33 & in D Minor, Wq 62/15, Petites Pièces from Wq 117: La Gabriel, La Philippine, La Caroline, La Xenophon & La Sybille, La Sophie, L'Ernestine, L'Auguste, L'Ernestine, Wq 199/16, Andantino in D, Wq 116/18, Allegretto in F, Wq 116/19, Allegro in A, Wq 116/20. Like the Brahms two-piano series, we've finally reached the point where nothing more need be said except that the discs come in an old-fashioned big double jewel-box with separate, stand-alone booklets for each disc. The bargain price must mean slow sales... 2 CDs for the price of 1. Miklós Spányi (tangent piano and clavichord - solo keyboard), Opus X Ensemble. BIS CD-1422 (Sweden) 09I016 $17.98

ANDREA CAPORALE (fl.1735-1757): 6 Sonatas for Cello and Continuo, Sonata in D Minor for 2 Cellos. Caporale played in Handel's theatre orchestra and was the most popular cellist in London during the 1740s. Not known for virtuosity or technique, his six sonatas, published in 1746, show his main virtue - a singing, expressive line, often in the tenor register, in a florid, late baroque style. The two-cello work, however, from 1748, is a virtuoso piece of the highest caliber, demanding intricate bow techniques. Guy Fishman (cello), Sarah Freiberg (continuo/second cello), John Gibbons (harpsichord). Centaur CRC 2812 (U.S.A.) 09I017 $16.98

CARLO GIUSEPPE TOESCHI (1731-1788): Flute Quartet in D, Op. 5/1, MATTHIAS FRANCISCUS CANNABICH (c.1690-1773): Flute Sonata in E Minor, FRANZ XAVER RICHTER (1709-1789): Flute Sonata No. 1, JOHANN BAPTIST WENDLING (1723-1797): Flute Quartet in G, Op. 10/6, CHRISTIAN CANNABICH (1731-1798): Flute Quartet in F, Op. 1/5, IGNAZ HOLZBAUER (1711-1783): Flute Quintet in D. Prince Carl Theodor was the monarch who put together the famous Mannheim orchestra and it is for him (as flutist) and his court that all the chamber music here was composed (by two generations of Mannheim composer/instrumentalists). Cannabich father was his flute teacher and Wendling one of the finest flutists of his day. Toeschi was leader of the orchestra but also wrote 35 flute quartets. Excellent, extensive notes make this a must for early Classical chamber music collectors. Neue Düsseldorfer Hofmusik. Coviello Classics SACD hybrid COV 20608 (Germany) 09I018 $19.98

ETIENNE-NICOLAS MÉHUL (1763-1817): L'Irato ou l'Emporté, Ouverture du Ballet de Pâris. Challenged by Napoleon that, fine a composer as he was, he could not possibly write what the First Consul really liked - namely good, old Italian opere buffe like Paisiello or Cimarosa - Méhul produced this one-act buffo piece in 1801. Attributing it in a newspaper to a fictional Italian composer (dead at an early age), Méhul's authorship was only revealed after its gigantic success on the night of its premiere. This recording is the work's first performance since 1804 and features a fine cast of young singers and a new period-instrument orchestra which is an offshoot of Concerto Köln. Also included is a six-minute orchestral overture from the early 1790s. French-English libretto. Pauline Courtin (soprano), Cyril Auvity (tenor), Miljenko Turk (baritone), Bonn Chamber Choir, l'arte del mondo; Werner Ehrhardt. Capriccio 60128 (Germany) 09I019 $17.98 Ø

FRANZ ALEXANDER PÖSSINGER (1767-1827): Trio concertantes in E Flat, Op. 36/1 and in D, Op. 36/2, Serenata in Trio concertante, Op. 10. Only five months ago (04H048) Pössinger's name first turned up in these pages as the arranger for piano and string quartet of Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 4. Now, some original compositions: string trios of the Biedermeier (at least the latter two since the op. 10 may be earlier than 1815 when, arguably, the period started) era. Music for domestic consumption, yes, but outstanding in the genre for Pössinger's obvious joy in letting the instruments change and share registers while not being exactly parsimonious with melodic invention either. Kontraste Köln. Capriccio 67 162 (Germany) 09I020 $17.98 Ø

Tomasek Piano Concertos!

VÁCLAV JAN TOMÁSEK (1774-1850): Piano Concertos No. 1 in C, Op. 18 & No. 2 in E Flat, Op. 20. Devotees of music encyclopedias can finally stop asking "Why doesn't someone record these concertos?" as Supraphon, harking back to the good old LP days of "Musica Antiqua Bohemica", finally brings us World Premiere Recordings of these two late Classical concertos from 1803-05, the Second edited from two fragmentary manuscripts in the Prague Czech Music Museum (the First was published in Tomásek's lifetime). The style is that of Mozart's last handful of concertos and of Beethoven's First and Second. The true mark of any concerto is how soon you find yourself unable to get a tune out of your head; the rondo finale of No. 1 sounds like an old friend the first time you hear it - even though you can't possibly ever have heard it before! Jan Simon (piano), Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra; Vladimír Válek. Supraphon SU 3819 (Czech Republic) 09I021 $16.98

MAURO GIULIANI (1781-1829): Grand Duo Concertante for Violin and Guitar, Op. 85, Sonatine for Guitar, Op. 71/3, 6 Ariette on poems by Metastasio for Soprano and Guitar, Op. 95, Grand Overture for Guitar, Op. 61, Serenata for Violin, Cello and Guitar, Op. 19, 6 Variations on La Folia for Guitar, Op. 45, 6 Variations for Violin and Guitar, Op. 63, Guitar Concerto in A, Op. 30, Rossiniana No.1 for Guitar, Op. 119. A generous selection of guitar music, on a c.1815 instrument, by the undisputed master of the instrument in the Classical period, much of it rather unknown, outside of the concerto, Rossiniana and Grand Duo (often performed with flute). Italian-English texts. 2 CDs for the price of 1. Richard Savino (guitar), Jennifer Ellis (soprano), William Skeen (cello), Portland Baroque Orchestra; Monica Huggett (violin). Koch International Classics 7591 (U.S.A.) 09I022 $17.98

GEORGE ONSLOW (1784-1853): Nonet for Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Horn, Bassoon and String Quartet in A Minor, Op. 77, String Quintet No. 19 in C Minor, Op. 44. Another of Onslow's multitude of quintets (1832) is joined by a late work from 1848. His largest chamber music composition, the nonet adds the color and richness of winds to the well-known virtues of his string writing in music which is of orchestral character at times and of the finest chamber textures at others. Ma'alot Wind Quintet, Mandelring Quartet w/Wolfgang Güttler (double bass). CPO 777 151 (Germany) 09I023 $15.98

GIOACCHINO ROSSINI (1792-1868): Torvaldo e Dorliska. A "rescue opera", or, if you like, due to two buffo characters, a dramma semiserio, this work from 1815 suffered from a poor libretto but, as always, there is plenty of attractive and even notable music here and, after all, the opera managed to stay in the repertoire for around 25 years... 2 CDs. Libretto available on-line. Huw Rhys-Evans (tenor), Paola Cigna (soprano), Mauro Utzeri (baritone), Michele Bianchini (bass), ARS Brunensis Chamber Choir, Czech Chamber Soloists Brno; Alessandro de Marchi (harpsichord). Naxos 8.660189-90 (New Zealand) 09I024 $15.98

JOHANN WENZEL KALLIWODA (1801-1866): Symphony No. 5 in B Minor, Op. 106, Symphony No. 7 in G Minor, WoO/01, Overture No. 16 in A Minor, Op. 238. And, suddenly, Kalliwoda's Fifth is over-recorded... Who'd have thought that possible three months ago? Still, this new release offers 40 minutes of first recordings: the Symphony No. 7 was written before the 1840 Fifth but never published and presents a Romantic Weberian nightscape of dark gloom, brightened by a lightning scherzo, followed by a hymn-like slow movement and a finale full of orchestral color which dashes back and forth between heroic and playful character. The overture (1863) may lack the fire of youth but still speaks the language of Romanticism if with a more relaxed mien. Das Neue Orchester; Christoph Spering. CPO 777 139 (Germany) 09I025 $15.98

FELIX MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847): Complete Organ Works, Vol. 4 - Sonata No. 4 in B Flat, Op. 65, Andante sostenuto in F Minor, Andante in D (2nd version), Fugue in D Minor, [Passacaglia] in C Minor, Fughetta in D, Prelude in C Minor, Fantasia in G Minor, Fugue (fragment), Allegretto in D Minor, Con moto maestoso in A, Andante con moto in A, Fugue in C, Chorale in D, Grave-Andante con moto in C Minor, Moderato in C, Andante in D. Aside from the sonata, this volume contains 56 minutes worth of fragments and single movements - for the true Mendelssohn completist. Jennifer Bate (organs). SOMM Céleste 053 (England) 09I026 $16.98

NORBERT BURGMÜLLER (1810-1836): Sonata in F Minor, Op. 8, Waltz in E Flat, Mazurka in E Flat, Rhapsodie in B Minor, Op. 13, Polonaise in F, Op. 16, FRÉDÉRIC BURGMÜLLER (1806-1874): Rêveries fantastiques, Op. 41, Valse brillant, Op. 106, Études, Op. 15, Nos. 2, 5 & 15, FELIX MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847): Marcia funebre in A Minor, Op. 103. Although Norbert's stormy, hyper-emotional sonata from 1826 has been recorded before, none of his other piano pieces have which, together with the funeral march for Burgmüller's funeral written for band by Mendelssohn (and transcribed for piano by whom we are not told) and the excerpts from his brother (who Frenchified his name when he got established in Paris) - the Rêveries are quite dark and Weberian in manner - make for an extraordinarily valuable disc of early Romantic keyboard music. Norbert is played on an 1826 Graf; his brother on an 1835 Pleyel, as befits their origin and personalities. Tobias Koch (fortepianos). Genuin GEN 86061 (Germany) 09I027 $17.98 Ø

LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN (1770-1827)/FRANZ LISZT (1811-1886): Symphony No. 7 in A, Op. 92 (S464), Symphony No. 8 in F, Op. 93 (R128). This almost forgotten series ("Liszt Complete Piano Music, Vol. 23") has really faltered in recent years but collectors who are following Scherbakov's transversal of this entertaining will be happy to have the penultimate volume finally turn up. Konstantin Scherbakov (piano). Naxos 8.557856 (New Zealand) 09I028 $7.98

FRANZ LISZT (1811-1886): Missa solemnis, S 9, "Gran Festival Mass". If you are a Liszt completist and don't have the 30-year-old Hungaroton recording of this mass, written for the consecration in 1856 of the cathedral in Esztergom (where St. Stephen was crowned), this college orchestra recording from the late 90s does reasonable justice to this simple, fervent, utterly non-Romantic version of the mass. Anne-Marguerite Werster (soprano), Liliana Bizineche-Eisinger (mezzo), Guy Flechter (tenor), Johannes Schmidt (bass-baritone), Choir and Orchestra Paris-Sorbonne; Jacques Grimbert. Original 1997 release. Arte Nova ANO 654180 (Germany) 09I029 $4.98

BEDRICH SMETANA (1824-1884): The Bartered Bride. The cast for this 1981 Czech TV film is that of the long-lived LP and, later, CD version which dominated the catalogue for the 80s and most of the 90s. Another case where the DVD adds pleasure to the collector since so much of this beloved opera is concerned with folk customs and color and the costumes and the ballet sequences add much to the experience. English subtitles. Dolby Digital 5.1 or Dolby Digital Stereo. Gabriel Benacková (soprano), Peter Dvorsky (tenor), Richard Novák (bass), Prague Philharmonic Choir, Prague National Theatre Opera Chorus and Ballet, Czech Philharmonic Orchestra; Zdenek Kosler. Supraphon DVD SU 7011 (Czech Republic) 09I030 $24.98

CARL REINECKE (1824-1910): Concertstück in G Minor, Op. 33, CARL CZERNY (1791-1857): Introduction and Rondo Brillante in B Flat Minor, Op. 255, JOHANN NEPOMUK HUMMEL (1778-1837): Introduzione and Rondo Brillant in A, Op. 56, FELIX MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847): Rondo Brillante in E Flat, Op. 29, CARL MARIA VON WEBER (1786-1826): Concertstück in F Minor, Op. 79. Whether you call it "Concert Piece" or "Intro. & Rondo", the genre is designed for virtuosity and brilliant keyboard sound with a full orchestra introducing and punctuating the proceedings. Amazingly, the current catalogue shows no other versions of the Reinecke and Czerny (and only two of the Hummel), so collectors of Romantic piano-and-orchestra repertoire are hardly going to find a better deal than this new, mid-price release! Joshua Pierce (piano), Slovak State Philharmonic Orchestra; Bystrík Rezucha. MSR Classics MS 1196 (U.S.A.) 09I031 $10.98

JACQUES OFFENBACH (1819-1880): La Vie Parisienne - Préludes and Mélodrames, Les Bergers - Overture, La Périchole - Préludes and Mélodrames, Sur un volcan - Overture, Orphée aux Enfers - Préludes and Mélodrames, Ba-Ta-Clan - Overture, March and Mélodrame, Barbe-Bleue - Préludes and Mélodrames, Souvenirs d'Aix-les-Bains - Waltz Suite. Appearances are deceiving if this looks like a mere collection of "Offenbach without words". Almost everything here is recorded for the first time in the original instrumentation and even La Vie Parisienne throws a first recording of the original Act I Prélude. Orchestre National de Montpellier; Jean-Christophe Keck. Accord 476 8999 (France) 09I032 $17.98 Ø

CHARLES-HENRI VALENTIN ALKAN (1813-1888): Andante du 8 Quatuor (K. 464), JOACHIM RAFF (1822-1882): Souvenirs de "Don Giovanni", Op. 45, IGNAZ FRIEDMAN (1882-1948): Romance from Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, Menuetto from Divertimento, K. 334, JOHANN NEPOMUK HUMMEL (1778-1837): Fantasina on a Theme of "Figaro", Op. 124, MIKHAIL GLINKA (1804-1857): Variations on a Theme of Mozart, SIGISMUND THALBERG (1812-1871): Lacrimosa tiré du Requiem de Mozart, Op. 70, MAX REGER (1873-1916): Variations and Fugue on a Theme of Mozart, Op. 132 (arr. Karl Salomon). A very attractive new release for piano transcription collectors. Wish I could tell you more about the transcriber of the Reger but can find no more information on him. I'll make no claims to first recordings since, whenever I do, I'm always wrong. Petronel Malan (piano). Hännsler Classic 98.231 (Germany) 09I033 $17.98

KARL GOLDMARK (1830-1915): Violin Sonata in D, Op. 25, JENÖ HUBAY (1858-1937): Violin Sonata in D, Op. 22 "Romantic", ERNÖ DOHNÁNYI (1877-1960): Violin Sonata in C Sharp Minor, Op. 21. Goldmark's large, 35-minute sonata from 1874 is a welcome addition to the catalogue of Romantic chamber music with its vast 14 minute slow movement, full of dreamy, meditative lyricism surrounded by two fast movements which descend from the Mendelssohn and Schumann school. Hubay's only sonata (1884) has a (non-explicit) subtext taken from Victor Hugo and its abrupt tempo and mood changes with sudden outbursts of passion detonate the otherwise Brahmsian Classical personality of much of the music. Peter Csaba (violin), Peter Frankl (piano). Praga SACD hybrid PRD/DSD 250/223 (Czech Republic) 09I034 $20.98

JOHANNES BRAHMS (1833-1897): Four-Hand Piano Music, Vol. 16 - Transcriptions of Schumann: Piano Quartet in E Flat, Op. 47, Joseph Joachim (1931-1907): Hamlet Overture, Op. 4, Schubert: 20 Ländler, D. 366. The amazing thing is that all of these, though they've been trickling out for years now, were recorded back in 1999-2001. Two very busy pairs of hands... Silke-Thora Matthies, Christian Köhn (piano four hands). Naxos 8.555848 (New Zealand) 09I035 $7.98

PABLO SARASATE (1844-1908): Music for Violin and Piano, Vol. 1 - 8 Danzas Españolas, Opp. 21, 22, 23 & 26, Capricho Vasco, Op. 24, Serenata Andaluza, Op. 28, Jota Aragonesa, Op. 27, Balada, Op. 31. A companion or a substitute for the recently begun Sarasate violin-and-orchestra series on the Spanish RTVE label (the previous rarity of that label and the vagaries of distribution at a time when Tower will shortly be up for bankruptcy auction - an act that could drive small, independent classical distributors into oblivion), this first volume is devoted to pieces based on Spanish dances. Tianwa Yang (violin), Markus Hadulla (piano) Naxos 8.557767 (New Zealand) 09I036 $7.98

FRANZ XAVER NERUDA (1843-1915): Cello Concertos No. 1 in E Minor, Op. 57, No. 2 in D Minor, Op. 59, No. 3 in A, Op. 60, No. 4 in A Minor, Op. 61 & No. 5 in G, Op. 66. Born in Bohemia but destined to spend most of his life and career in Copenhagen, Neruda was known both as a cellist and a music administrator who was among the first to get Carl Nielsen's works performed in Denmark. He wrote all five of his cello concertos in 1887-8 and they are all single-movement works of between 15 and 18 minutes length. Some are mini-concertos with three movements run together while a couple are in sonata form. All are loaded with gorgeous, memorable melodies and tend toward the high range of the instrument (the key sequence of the concertos is that of the violin's strings and Neruda was a violinist first). The young cellist here did her own editing of all but the second concerto (the only one which was probably ever performed with orchestra), having been tipped off to Neruda's existence by - Dieter Klöcker! 2 CDs. Beate Altenburg (cello), Anhalt Philharmonic Dessau; Golo Berg. CPO 777 192 (Germany) 09I037 $31.98

JULIUSZ ZAREBSKI (1854-1885): Grande Polonaise in F Sharp, Op. 6, Les Roses et les Épines, Op. 12, Berceuse, Op. 22, Tarantelle, Op. 25, Valse, Op. 27/2, Melodia, Op. 27/5, Valse, Op. 27/6, Mazurka. Another young victim of tuberculosis, Zarebski was a favorite student of Liszt who also thought highly of him as a composer. Liszt's influence can be heard especially in the large-scale, 13-minute polonaise while the Chopin tradition is strong both there and in the series of dance and character pieces. Standing alone, however, is the six-movement suite of Les Roses which alternates quietly poetic passages with highly virtuosic and emotional ones but which has almost no trace of Polish nationalism in it seeming, rather, to anticipate the harmonic experiments of early Impressionism. Marian Mika (piano). CPO 777 193 (Germany) 09I038 $15.98

JULIUSZ ZAREBSKI (1854-1885): Piano Quintet in G Minor, Op. 343, GRAZYNA BACEWICZ (1909-1969): Piano Quintet No. 1. Written in the year of his death and described by Liszt as "a perfect composition", Zarebski's quintet uses the piano most frequently as a coloristic instrument while the strings carry the melodic burden. It's as warm and Romantic as you might expect. Bacewicz (1952) writes in an engaging mixture of neo-romantic and neo-baroque styles with intimations of folk dances present in the scherzo and finale. Warsaw Quintet. Dux 0530 (Poland) 09I039 $16.98

ENGELBERT HUMPERDINCK (1854-1921): Königskinder. Unlike Hänsel und Gretel, "The King's Children" is a dark work with a bleak ending which is an allegory for the alienation of the artist from society. The melodies are gorgeous but colored with a chromaticism which represents the forces of evil and this mixture of allegory and folklike narrative is probably the composer's finest achievement - a grim fairy-tale for grown-ups. We offered a libretto-less version of this a year ago this month - a reissue of a ten-year-old Calig release. Collectors familiar with this Accord series will know how much more they can expect from it. 3 CDs. German-English libretto. Jonas Kaufmann (tenor), Ofelia Sala (soprano), Detlef Roth (baritone), Nora Gubisch (mezzo), Opera Junior Children's Chorus, Latvian Radio Chorus, Orchestre National de Montpellier; Armin Jordan. Accord 476 9151 (France) 09I040 $53.98 Ø

JULIUS ROENTGEN (1855-1932): Violin Concerto in A Minor, JENÖ HUBAY (1858-1937): Violin Concerto No. 3 in G Minor, Op. 99, ERNEST CHAUSSON (1855-1899): Poème for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 25. Like the C minor symphony on last month's cover, Roentgen's violin concerto (1902 and a World Premiere Recording) is a full-length work of 32 minutes in the traditional three movements and with the sweet melodies, relaxed personality and Brahmsian warmth you will now have come to expect from this Dutch composer. Thank's to the violinist's liner-notes, we also can experience what it's like to prepare to record a concerto with a kidney infection, crying children on the long-distance phone and lack of sleep. Sometimes it's a good idea to hire a professional note-writer... Ragin Wenk-Wolff (violin), Dvorák Symphony Orchestra; Stanislav Bogunia, Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra; Dennis Burkh (Hubay). Centaur CRC 2790 (U.S.A.) 09I041 $16.98

SERGEI TANEYEV (1856-1915): String Quartets, Vol. 5 - No. 2 in C, Op. 5. Perhaps the most emotionally rich and orchestrally conceived of Taneyev's quartets, this 1895 work lasts just over 41 minutes and, being the last volume of the series, there was nothing to couple it with. Vol. 4 will appear next month. Taneyev Quartet. Northern Flowers NF/PMA 9937 (Russia) 09I042 $16.98

EDWARD ELGAR (1857-1934): Froissart, Op. 19, May Song, Carissima, Romance for Bassoon and Orchestra, Op. 62, 3 Characteristic Pieces, Op. 10, Minuet, Op. 21, Chansons de Matin & de Nuit, Op. 15, 3 Bavarian Dances. An attractive disc of ligher Elgar, highlighted by the rarely recorded Bavarian Dances which are orchestrations of choruses from Scenes from the Bavarian Highlands, Op. 27 and equally rarely heard Characteristic Pieces: an 1899 revision of an 1882 "Suite in D" featuring a Mazurka, Sérénade Mauresque and Contrasts: The Gavotte, the latter an interesting little back-and-forth between baroque pastiche and a modern updating of the style. Preman Tilson (bassoon), New Zealand Symphony Orchestra; James Judd. Naxos 8.557577 (New Zealand) 09I043 $7.98

LUDWIG THUILLE (1861-1907): Violin Sonata, Op. 30, RUDI STEPHAN (1887-1915): Groteske, HANS PFITZNER (1869-1949): Violin Sonata in E Minor, Op. 30. Not previously available in this country, this recital provides a snapshot of the "Munich School" of composers, founded by Thuille, and broadly characterized as combining the solid form and harmonic proportions of Brahms and Rheinberger with the chromatic harmony of Richard Strauss and Wagner. Thuille's 1904 sonata is impetuous and driven in its outer movements, poetic in the central adagio molto while Pfitzner's 1918 work, in its opulence and surprisingly youthful exuberance, would never betray the fact that Europe lay devastated around the composer at the time. Like the Thuille, Stephan's little, seven-minute Groteske is otherwise unavailable on disc and, dating from 1911, looks ahead to the modernism of the Hindemith of the 20s. Christoph Schickedanz (violin), Berhard Fograscher (piano). 2000 release. Telos TLS 030 (Germany) 09I044 $17.98 Ø

ALEXANDER GLAZUNOV (1865-1936): Complete Piano Music, Vol. 4 - Prelude and 2 Mazurkas, Op. 25, Barcarolle sur les touches noires, 2 Impromptus, Op. 54, Idylle, Op. 103, Triumphal March, Op. 40 (with Holst Singers; Stephen Layton), Song of the Volga Boatmen, Op. 97, In modo religioso, Pas de caractère, Op. 68, Sonata No. 2 in E Minor, Op. 75. The last reissue of this series brings the 1901 sonata, notable for its passionate first movement's lush harmonies and the treacherous technical demands of its scherzo, as well as more examples of Glazunov's elegant salon minatures and four transcriptions of orchestral works - the Triumphal March with its prominent tune which we know as "John Brown's Body" is unlikely to be recorded again by chorus and piano! Stephen Coombs (piano). Original 1996 Hyperion release. Helios CDH 55224 (England) 09I045 $10.98

LEOPOLD GODOWSKY (1870-1938): Sonata in E Minor, Java Suite, 3 Klavierstücke, Passacaglia, Variations, Cadenza and Fugue on the Opening of Schubert's "Unfinished" Symphony. Only the second CD appearance of the Java Suite, in which that most pianistic of piano composers puts his unparalleled knowledge of his instrument at the service of picture-painting in what has to be one of the most evocative musical travelogues ever. These pieces are not primarily concerned with technique, unlike the Studies after Chopin; they paint the landscape that so impressed the composer on his travels in the 1920s in vivid, glowing colors. Most Godowsky collectors will be glad to have a third recording of the massive, five-movement sonata; the Passacaglia is rather well-served at the moment but the three piano pieces ("Adoration", "Capriccio Patetico" and "Elegy") are otherwise unavailable. 2 CDs. Michael Schäfer (piano). 2002 release. Telos TLS 052 (Germany) 09I046 $35.98 Ø

JOSEPH JONGEN (1873-1953): String Trio, Op. 135, EUGÈNE YSAE (1858-1931): String Trio "Le Chimay", LOUIS DE MEESTER (1904-1987): String Trio. Three string trios by three rather different Belgian composers: Jongen (1948) is in his late, somewhat pared-down style, the four movements totalling just over 22 minutes, the music mixing late Romanticism and Impressionism with craftsmanlike and unobtrusive counterpoint. Ysaÿe's trio comes from 1927, after his famous solo sonatas, and shows the violin virtuoso as a professional composer - a single-movement piece of some 21 minutes which contains all the various trends and styles he encounted during his career (except Impressionism). Dating from only three years after Jongen's trio, the self-taught De Meester writes in his own dissonant, not-terribly-avant-garde voice listening closely to which one might hear what the composer was doing at the same time in another area of his professional life: he was one of the earliest experimenters with electronic music in Europe. Goeyvaerts String Trio. Pavane ADW 7502 (Belgium) 09I047 $10.98

MAX REGER (1873-1916): Eine Ballettsuite, Op. 130, Konzert im alten Stil, Op. 123, Beethoven Variations, Op. 86 (Staatskapelle Berlin; Otmar Suitner), Variationen und Fuge über ein lustiges Thema von Johann Adam Hiller, Op. 100 (Gewandhaus Orchester Leipzig; Franz Konwitschny), Variationen und Fuge über ein Thema von W.A. Mozart, Op. 132 (Staatskapelle Dresden; Heinz Bongartz), 4 Tondichtungen nach Arnold Böcklin, Op. 128 (Dresden Philharmonic; Bongartz), Sinfonietta in in A, Op. 90, An die Hoffnung for Alto and Orchestra, Op. 124, Hymnus der Liebe for Alto and Orchestra, Op. 136 (Annelies Burmeister [alto], Leipzig Radio Symphony Orchestra; Bongartz), Violin Concerto in A Minor, Op. 101 (Manfred Scherzer [violin], SD; Herbert Blomstedt), Piano Concerto in F Minor, Op. 114 (Amadeus Webersinke [piano], DP; Herbig), Symphonischer Prolog zu einer Tragödie, Op. 108, Eine romantische Suite, Op. 125 (RSO Berlin; Heinz Rögner). A Who's Who of East German orchestras and conductors in recordings made between 1963 and 1984, containing the most complete Reger orchestral collection you're likely to see including several pieces which are quite rare on disc. 7 CDs. Budget-price. German texts. Original VEB Deutsche Schallplatten recordings. Berlin Classics 0183992BC (Germany) 09I048 $45.98

GUSTAV HOLST (1874-1934): 7 Scottish Airs for Piano and Orchestra, 6 Morris Dance Tunes, Lyric Movement for Viola and Small Orchestra, St. Paul's Suite, Op. 29/2, Brook Green Suite, A Fugal Concerto for Flute, Oboe and String Orchestra, Op. 40/2, In the Bleak Midwinter (arr. Messiter). Yeah, yeah, another Holst small-orchestra compendium but: it's only $4.98 and how many of you have the Seven Scottish Airs? Michael Freyhan (piano), Edward Beckett (flute), Rachel Bolt (viola), Malcolm Messiter (oboe), London Festival Orchestra; Ross Pople. Arte Nova ANO 340220 (Germany) 09I049 $4.98

ARNOLD SCHOENBERG (1874-1951): Moses und Aron. Schoenberg's crowning achievement was left without a third act, the first two having been competed in 1930 and 1932, the dilemma of how to represent on stage the unity of the Israelites with God after their arrival in the promised land apparently unresolvable. This is the fifth available recording of the work and the only budget-priced one in a modern recording making it, perhaps, the perfect opportunity for lovers of a strong story and undeniably imposing and dramatic music who are still shy of serial music to discover why Moses und Aron is a landmark in 20th century musical history. 2 CDs. English synopsis. Wolfgang Schöne (bass-baritone), Chris Merritt, Bernhard Schneider (tenors), Irena Bespalovaite (soprano), Polish Radio Choir, Kraków, Stuttgart State Opera Chorus and Children's Chorus, Stuttgart State Orchestra; Roland Kluttig. Naxos 8.660158-59 (New Zealand) 09I050 $15.98

RICCARDO ZANDONAI (1883-1944): Il bacio. Left incomplete at his death, this performance of the finished two acts appears to be the first and only performance of the work. There being no information about the libretto available anywhere in the CD folder or on-line, there's nothing more I can tell you (except that the sound is bright and very clear). No libretto. Rosetta Noli, Lina Pagliughi (sopranos), Angelo Loforese, Walter Artioli (tenors), Orchestra and Chorus of RAI Milan; Francesco Molinari Pradelli (March 3 (10?), 1954). G.O.P. 66.351 (Italy) 09I051 $15.98

OTTORINO RESPIGHI (1875-1935): La Sensitiva for Mezzo-Soprano and Orchestra, La Pentola Magica, Aretusa for Mezzo-Soprano and Orchestra. Here are the two least-known of the three symphonic poems for voice and orchestra which Respighi wrote to texts of Shelley (Il tramonto, of course, being the other) and which date from 1910-15, the period directly prior to the appearance of his first famous Roman tone-poem, The Fountains of Rome (1916). While showing the influence of Wagner, Richard Strauss and Debussy, they also show Respighi making use of a much wider palette, including the Russian school of Rimsky-Korsakov and earlier Italian compatriots like Puccini and Martucci. La Pentola (1920) is a pastiche of (mostly) lesser-known Russian composers - a bit of Rubinstein's Demon ballet music is the only really recognizable piece - written for a ballet whose scenario is not extant. Italian-English texts. Damiana Pinti (mezzo), Orchestra Sinfonica del Teatro Massimo di Palermo; Marzio Conti. CPO SACD hybrid 777 071 (Germany) 09I052 $15.98

OTTORINO RESPIGHI (1875-1935): Complete Works for Violin and Piano, Vol. 1 - Sonata in B Minor, 5 pezzi, 6 pezzi. The two suites (1902 and 1907) are of character pieces - "Aubade", "Leggenda", "Serenata", "Berceuse", etc. - in which the young composer tries on various European salon styles, while the 1907 sonata is a large-scale work whose main concern is presenting a singing line for the violinist and portraying a wide variety of almost operatic emotion. Two more volumes in this series will contain nine "Italian Baroque Sonatas" - in 2007 and 2008. Ilona Then-Bergh (violin), Michael Schäfer (piano). Genuin GEN 86063 (Germany) 09I053 $17.98 Ø

NIKOLAI ROSLAVETS (1880-1944): Violin Sonatas Nos. 1, 4 & 6, 3 Dances. Now the only CD recording of these works available, this is a must-have for collectors of the Soviet avant-garde. These are the only three violin sonatas by this composer which survived the wretched ending to Roslavets' career after being declared an "Enemy of the People" in 1929. Nos. 1 and 4, both single-movement works of around 15 minutes, are quite what you would expect from Scriabin if he had written violin sonatas. Although the 29-minute, three-movement sixth sonata is a late work (of uncertain date - it was only published in 1996) and is in a more traditional late Romantic style, it shares the dark, evanescent and complex emotional world of its earlier companions. Solomia Soroka (violin), Arthur Greene (piano). Naxos 8.557903 (New Zealand) 09I054 $7.98

WILHELM FURTWÄNGLER (1886-1954): Violin Sonata No. 1 in D Minor (Dong-Suk Kang [violin]), Piano Quintet in C, Violin Sonata No. 2 in D (Alexis Galpérine [violin]). The second sonata was actually Timpani's first-ever release back in 1989 and, like its disc-mates here, has been out-of-print for some time. So, if you didn't get these recordings way back when (all composed between 1935-38 in the discursive, often painfully intimate late Romantic style you know from Furtwängler's three symphonies), you won't want to miss them now. Not a mid-price reissue, but you weren't waiting for someone else to record this sort of thing, were you? The original notes are gone and what replaces them is meager but there is an eight-minute interview of Furtwängler by Hans Müller-Kray from March 30, 1954 in Stuttgart. 3 CDs. François Kerdoncuff (piano). Quatuor Sine nomine. Original 1989, 1993 & 1994 Timpani releases. Timpani 3C1092 (France) 09I055 $56.98

FRANK MARTIN (1890-1974): Violin Sonatas Nos. 1 & 2, Trio sur des mélodies popularies irlandaises, 4 pièces brèves for Guitar. World premiere recording of the very early (1912-13) first violin sonata, a substantial work of four movements and almost half an hour, in which the young composer flexes his emotional and compositional muscles in a manner influenced by both Franck and Fauré. A piece far more worthy of inclusion in a performance repertoire than, say, the short sonata by Honegger of the previous year. The second (1931-32) has been recorded once or twice but is hardly well-known either; lasting barely more than half the time of the first sonata, this three-movement work shows Martin in the early period when he began to assimilate twelve-tone technique in his more widely chromatic style. The piano trio is rather well-known by now but the four guitar pieces of 1933 are further examples of the stylistic evolution just mentioned. Armène Stakian (violin), Pascal Desarzens (cello), Daniel Fuchs (piano), Miguel Charosky (guitar). Musique Suisses MGB CD 6241 (Switzerland) 09I056 $18.98

RUUD LANGGAARD (1893-1952): Antikrist. For collectors not into having their opera on DVD, here is the sound-only version of the recording which we offered on DVD back in November of last year. Danish-English libretto. Sten Byriel (baritone), Anne Margrethe Dahl (soprano), Helene Gjerris (mezzo), Danish National Symphony Orchestra and Choir/DR; Thomas Dausgaard. Dacapo SACD hybrid 6.220523-24 (Denmark) 09I057 $31.98

CARLOS CHÁVEZ (1899-1978): String Quartets Nos. 1-3, Invention No. 2 for String Trio, Hommage a Goddard, Columbia for String Quartet and Double Bass. In origin, instrumentation, style and time period, Chávez' three quartets are all over the map. The first, from 1921 shows a New World composer trying to both work within and look beyond the German and French influences of the late 19th century while the second is schizophrenic temporally: the first two movements date from 1932 and the final two to 1963. The work may have had pedagogic origins along with the original desire of Chávez to flount tradition by using a double bass instead of a cello but he succeeds in making the whole work hang together, rooted in the 1930s language of mild dissonance and experimentation. The third's is an adaptation of music from a Martha Graham ballet commission, The Daughter of Colchis (1943), which explains the work's somber and tragic mood. Invention II (1965) is the most modern work here, tossing melodic fragments around in an atonal fashion during the course of its eventful 12 minutes. Cuarteto Latinoamericano, Victor Flores (double bass). Urtext JBCC 109 (Mexico) 09I058 $17.98

MIGUEL BERNAL JIMENEZ (1910-1956): Cuarteto Virreinal, MANUEL M. PONCE (1882-1948): Intermezzo for Piano and Strings, Gavotta, ANA MARIA CHARLES (1888-1947): Vals "Piedad", ALEJANDRO MEZA (1888-1970): Andante religioso, for Piano Quintet, SAMUEL MAYNEZ PRINCE (1886-1965): 3 danzas for Violin and Strings, JOSÉ F. VELASQUEZ (1896-1961): 2 lieder for Soprano and Strings, JUVENTINO ROSAS (1868-1894): Danzón, Polka. This series of Mexican works for strings (or string quartet), with or without piano, is centered around the generation of composers born in the last ten years of the 19th century whose contributions recorded here are in a high-quality salon style, little atmospheric pieces which suggest the gracious atmosphere of the genteel upper class with a bit of melancholy thrown in for seasoning. Jimenez was a student of Maynez Prince and his string quartet is a tribute to their conservative Romanticism. Alauda Ensemble. Urtext JBCC 084 (Mexico) 09I059 $17.98

BENJAMIN BRITTEN (1913-1976): Gloriana, Op. 53. Britten's 1953 study of the clash between private and public life in the story of Queen Elizabeth and the Earl of Essex was a metaphor for his own situation in which he was pulled in opposite directions by public demands on him as a semi-"official" composer and his own private compositional tendencies. Widely reviled upon its premiere, it only received the re-evaluation due it in the late 60s. This film version, commissioned by the BBC and based on the 1999 Opera North production, was first broadcast in 2000. Due to the BBC's requested 100-minute time limit, the director, Phyllida Lloyd (who also directed the stage performances) was forced to omit the Norwich Masque and its popular dances (almost the only thing people heard of the opera for decades) and the comspiracy scene in the garden of Essex House. 16:9 anamorphic widescreen, LPCM Stereo or DTS Surround. Josephine Barstow (soprano), Emer McGilloway (mezzo), Tom Randle (tenor), Clive Bayley (bass-baritone), Chorus of Opera North, English Northern Philharmonia; Paul Daniel. Opus Arte DVD OA 0955D (England) 09I060 $37.98

ROMAN VLAD (b.1919): Opus Triplex, VLAD/BACH: Wenn wir in höchsten Nöten sein, FERRUCIO BUSONI (1866-1924): Fantasia Contrappuntistica. Vlad joins the output of a select and rarefied group of 20th-century piano composers - not least Sorabji and Stevenson - who, following the pioneering example of Busoni, have attempted to extend beyond measure the expressive possibilities of the instrument. The work is based on the B-A-C-H motif, which Vlad, an avowed dodecaphonist, uses to generate many tone-rows. These are then combined and interwoven according to techniques derived from the theories of Busoni, Schoenberg, Ziehn, and from Vlad's own vast compositorial experience and erudition. The impression given by much of the music is of saturated chromatic harmony with unmistakable tonal gravitational centers and directionality; its relationship to Busoni's Fantasia contrappuntistica suggests almost a sequel to that landmark of 20th-century piano literature. Carlo Grante (piano). Music and Arts CD-1186 (U.S.A.) 09I061 $16.98

JULIAN ANDERSON (b.1967): Khorovod, The Stations of the Sun, The Crazed Moon, Alhambra Fantasy, Diptych. A prominent figure among the younger generation of British composers and a staple of the BBC 'Proms' and contemporary music broadcasts, Anderson displays a lively and inventive imagination in all his music, incorporating elements from folk-cultures worldwide, 'new' scales (influenced by the 'spectralists'), and above all, melody and rich, colorful harmony, though constantly reinvented in new contexts. Khorovod, for example, refers to indigenous musics from throughout Europe, in brightly energetic, dancing textures, while Alhambra Fantasy is an imaginary evocation of the magnificence and historical resonance of the Alhambra Palace with its Spanish and Moorish architecture, gardens, fountains and luminous atmosphere (in a radio interview the composer admitted that he hadn't visited the place when he wrote the piece, so this is an evocation of the idea of the Alhambra, not a programmatic description). Tonal centres are present throughout these works, though often referred to in modal or harmonically ambiguous contexts; elsewhere, however, functional harmonic progression is as present as in any neo-romanticist, as in the dramatically brooding Crazed Moon, a predominantly dark in memoriam piece, probably the work that most strongly suggests the serious accomplishment that accompanies the composer's eclectic ingenuity. BBC Symphony Orchestra, London Sinfonietta; Oliver Knussen. Ondine ODE 1012 (Finland) 09I062 $17.98

HENRI LAZAROF (b.1932): Violin Concerto No. 3, Rhaposdy for Viola and Orchestra, Partita di Madrigali for Violin, Cello and Orchestra. The concerto features lyrical and impassioned recitatives and cadenzas for the soloist and a dramatic commentary by a muscular, full-blooded orchestral antagonist (frequently and tellingly employed with Lazarof's characteristic colorful economy of resources). The slightly melancholic protagonist wins out in the end, subsiding into a resigned silence. The Rhapsody is a three- movement work on the same scale with a somewhat elegiac quality tempered by outbursts of colorful, impassioned music. The Partita encompasses both the virtuosic and the exquisitely sensitive, chamber-scaled melancholy of the central movement (most originally scored). Fine and thoroughly approachable modern addition to the string concerto repertoire. Christiane Edinger (violin), Paul Neubauer (viola), Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt (cello), Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Berlin Symphony Orchestra; Gerard Schwarz. Centaur CRC 2735 (U.S.A.) 09I063 $16.98

GEORGES BARBOTEU (b.1924): Triptyque for Horn and String Quartet, Saisons for Horn and Piano, Chanonnerie for Brass Quintet. Chansonnerie is a confection of popular, recognisable tunes woven together with skill, affection and a sense of mischief. Saisons is a work of greater depth, a thoughtful and intimate set of warmly expressive character pieces, harking back to classical and baroque models in a colorful romantic idiom. Triptyque is grounded in the searching harmonic language of the early 20th century, which Barboteau treats individually, with a detectable trace of nostalgia. Eric Sombret (horn), Cordélia Palm, Gabriela Kovacs (violins), Fabrice Durand (viola), Florence Marie (cello), Jean-Pierre Lecaudey (piano), Avignon Brass Quintet. Pavane ADW 7503 (Belgium) 09I064 $10.98

LERA AUERBACH (b.1973): Lonely Suite, Op. 70, Violin Sonata No. 2, Op. 63 "September 11", DMITRI SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975): Violin Sonata, Op. 134, Jazz Suite No. 1 (transcr. Michael Gluzman). The third appearance (and second in consecutive months) of music by Auerbach brings two works rather unlike her sets of violin/piano and piano preludes. Rather than the language of those post-Romantic miniatures (think Prokofiev, Scriabin and Bartók), the Sept. 11 in memoriam piece is a single-movement, 14-minute work of expressionist dissonance and almost immobile silence, recalling more such Russian and Soviet compatriots as Schnittke and Kancheli. The ten-minute solo violin suite is also in this sort of style although it has emotional echoes of Shostakovich as well. Vadim Gluzman (violin), Angela Yoffe (piano). BIS CD-1592 (Sweden) 09I065 $17.98

HARALD GENZMER (b.1909): Double Bass Sonata, Cello Sonatas Nos. 1 & 2, Fantasie for Double Bass and Piano, 6 Bagatelles for Cello and Double Bass. Genzmer's objectivity and emphasis on craftsmanship and structure put him into the same category as his teacher Hindemith and these works for low string instruments show him exploring the possibilites of polyphony and dissonance resulting from the melodic motion of various voices while still producing amply attractive melodic thematic material. All but the first cello sonata are late works (1976 to 1985), and the polyphony and fragmentation of thematic material is more present there; coming from 1953, the former has clearer and more easily comprehensible thematic shape. Martin Ostertag (cello), Nabil Shehata (double bass), Oliver Triendl (piano). Thorofon CTH 2529 (Germany) 09I066 $17.98

NED ROREM (b.1923): The Auden Songs for Tenor and Piano Trio, The Santa Fe Songs for Mezzo-Soprano, Viola, Cello and Piano. Rorem's characteristic elegance and refinement of expression coupled with deeply felt, passionate emotional content, rarely presented in an extrovert, heart-on-sleeve manner but always discernible, churning just beneath the surface, finds a perfect foil in Auden's poetry, which veers vertiginously from light camp to such dispassionate and dry-eyed examination of horrors and nightmare that one is compelled to re-read the line to be sure that one didn't misunderstand what was intended. Rorem's familiar tonal yet harmonically astringent vocabulary gives us music that is alternately vehement, withdrawn, sardonic or warmly expressive, yet always clear-eyed and serving to amplify the texts without seeking to overpower them with bravura musical display. The mezzo cycle to poems of Wittner Bynner is a more genial work, in keeping with the poems' smaller scale and more local aspirations, though not lacking in variety and exquisite underlining of little insights and shifts of perspective that suddenly illuminate some aspect of the human condition. Christopher Lemmings (tenor), Sara Fulgoni (mezzo), Chamber Domaine. Black Box BBM 1104 (England) 09I067 $17.98

NED ROREM (b.1923): A Sermon on Miracles for Choir and Strings (Brattle Street Chamber Players), The 70th Psalm for Choir and Winds (Appleton Wind Ensemble), For Choir with organ accompaniment: Arise Shine, 3 Hymn Anthems, 7 Motets for the Church's Year, Come, Pure Hearts, Mercy and Truth are Met, Organ Solos: Impromptu from Organbook III, From 6 Pieces: Why and Because, The Flight into Egypt, Entreat Me Not. The early pieces show a young composer of immense fluency in the process of finding his own voice, and they are quite conventionally diatonic, even resembling hymn tunes a good part of the time. The bulk of the works, though, from the 1970s onward, are wholly characteristic of Rorem's mature style, written for the voice with exquisite clarity and with just enough dissonance, modal inflection or harmonic ambiguity to prevent the music ever becoming predictable. Harvard University Choir; Murray Forbes Somerville, Carson Cooman (organ). Black Box BBM 1102 (England) 09I068 $17.98

EDUARDO GAMBOA: Voces de tierra, JULIO CÉSAR OLIVA: Por siempre Sabines, SAMUEL ZYMAN (b.1956): Solamente sola, ISAAC SAÚL: Canción de ausencia, KAVINDU: 4 piezas devocionales. This attractive recital of songs by contemporary Mexican composers showcases melodic lyricism above all, in directly appealing vocabularies which, though varied, are all firmly tonal. Gamboa's songs with ensemble evoke Latin idioms most strongly of these works; the music is warmly sensuous, the third having the feel of a refined popular ballad. Oliva, with guitar accompaniment, is in a very Romantic, almost popular style and preserves a very Latin sense of atmosphere, while Zyman's songs have a more cosmopolitan feel, remaining resolutely tonal and highly approachable. Saúl's work occupies a strange and harmonically ambiguous sound-world, over which the voice floats in a pure and austere lyrical line. The four songs by Kavindu (Alejandro Velasco) reflect the composer's adoption of Buddhism; reiterated piano figures like repeated mantras and straightforward harmonies recall 1980s Glass. No texts. Irasema Terrazas (soprano), Yleana Bautista (piano), Marisa Canales (flute), Edward Spencer (english horn), Marcia Yount (oboe), Eleanor Weingartner (clarinet), Beata Kukawska (violin), Victor Flores (double bass), Gabriela Jiménez (percussion). Urtext JBCC 068 (Mexico) 09I069 $17.98

PATRIK BISHAY (b.1975): Symphony No. 2 "Metamorphose", Frameworks X (Moravian Philharmonic Orchcestra; Vit Micka), WILLIAM THOMAS MCKINLEY (b.1938): Viola Concerto No. 2 (Karen Dreyfus [viola], Silesian Philharmonic Orchestra; Jerzy Swoboda). McKinley's work is reminiscent of Shostakovich's harmonic idiom and dramatic content, though overlain with an open-air, open textured quality which recalls Copland. Moments of full-blooded neo-romanticism are also a staple of the composer's vocabulary. The viola writing is virtuosic, the concerto functioning both as a dramatic narrative with the soloist as protagonist, and as bravura solo vehicle in its own right. Bishay's works adopt a considerably more modern voice, though not without acknowledgement of tradition. Frameworks is a vehemently discursive work expressed in angry, jagged orchestral figuration. The symphony largely avoids conventional tonality, while suggesting a connection to the Romantic symphonic tradition through the use of gestural elements that, taken in isolation, sound as though they could have been extracted from symphonic works of 100 years ago, though now reconfigured and re-examined in a completely new light. MMC 2148 (U.S.A.) 09I070 $16.98

PHILIP GLASS (b.1937): The Voyage. Commissioned by the Met for the 500th anniversary of Columbus' arrival in 1992, Glass produced a work in which the voyages of discovery take place in the mind of a paralyzed scientist (inspired by Stephen Hawking). Excerpts from Tim Page's 1992 article in Opera Grove: "...the densest, most contrapuntal and perhaps the most complicated score Glass has yet written... positively rococo compared with the early pieces written for the Philip Glass Ensemble... much use of polytonality, and pages go by without a repeat sign... the influence of Shankar and Rakha has not been so apparent in his music since the 1960s and there is a distinctly Latin quality to some of the scenes." 2 CDs. Libretto included. Soloists and Chorus of the Landestheater Linz, Bruckner Orchestra Linz; Dennis Russell Davies. Orange Mountain Music OMM 0017 (U.S.A.) 09I071 $35.98

PAUL CRESTON (1906-1985): Sonata, Op. 19, NED ROREM (b.1923): Picnic on the Marne, WALTER S. HARTLEY (b.1927): Sonata for Baritone Saxophone and Piano, AMY QUATE (b.1953): Light of Sothis, ALAN HOVHANESS (1911-2000): Suite for Saxophone and Guitar, Op. 291 (Neil Hornsby [guitar]), ROBERT MUCZYNSKI (b.1929): Sonata, Op. 29, RUDY WIEDOEFT (1893-1940): Valse Vanité. "American Saxophone Music" - performed by English artists and recorded in England... Better that than nothing at all, of course, as this nation continues on its downward slide into cultural oblivion. With seven composers to deal with it's, perhaps, easiest to say that everything is tonal and approachable, the composers you know sound like themselves, and Wiedoeft contributes the only piece with a period character: the five-minute Valse coming from 1923 and the height of the Jazz Age. Alex Mitchell (saxes), Jeremy Limb (piano). Naxos American Classics 8.559241 (U.S.A.) 09I072 $7.98

ROBERT RUSSELL BENNETT (1894-1981): Hexapoda: 5 Studies in Jitteroptera, HENRY THACKER BURLEIGH (1866-1949): Southland Sketches, LEONARD BERNSTEIN (1918-1990): Violin Sonata, LUKAS FOSS (b.1922): 3 American Pieces, AARON COPLAND (1900-1990): Nocturne, VICTOR STEINHARDT (b.1943): Tango, LINCOLN MAYORGA (b.1937): Bluefields, A West Hollywood Rumba for Arnold, DAVE GRUSIN (b.1934): 3 Latin American Dances for Piano Trio. Although titled "American Journey", the "American" part doesn't include the Latin American-inspired works by Mayorga, Stenhardt and Grusin; Bernstein's quite serious sonata from 1939 has very little that is "popular"ly American about it but Bennett's "seriousification" of "low-down" popular music (1940), Foss' combination of European sensibility and American rough-and-tumble fiddling (1944), Copland's jazz-dipped Nocturne (1926) and Burleigh's African-American sourced suite (1916) fit the bill perfectly. Arnold Steinhardt (violin), Victor Steinhardt (piano), Lincoln Mayorga (piano), Dave Grusin (piano), Amanda Forsyth (cello). Naxos American Classics 8.559235 (U.S.A.) 09I073 $7.98

HERMAN BERLINSKI (1910-2001): From the World of My Father (Seattle Symphony; Gerard Schwarz), Symphonic Visions (Barcelona Symphony/National Orchestra of Catalonia; Schwarz), The Burning Bush (Barbara Harbach [organ]), Shofar Service (Ted Christopher [baitone], James Ghigi, Stephen Keavy [trumpets], Tim Roseman [shofar], Christopher Bowers-Broadbent [organ], BBC Singers; Avner Itai). From the World is a four-movement suite, reconstructed in 1995 from music written for the Jewish theater in Paris in the late 1930s, which is conservative, conventionally melodic (drawing its inspiration from the everyday music of Jewish-speaking middle-sized towns and villages of Central and Eastern Europe) and unabashedly sentimental. From 1949, the Visions is a dramatic, three-movement tone poem which uses no traditional Jewish material at all but which has something of the power and harmonic richness of Mahler and Bloch in its three depictions of quotations from the Old Testament. The nine-minute organ piece of 1956 is a powerful, rhapsodic and dramatic showpiece. Naxos Milken Archive 8.559446 (U.S.A.) 09I074 $7.98

HERBERT OWEN REED (b.1910): La Fiesta Mexicana - A Mexican Folk Song Symphony, ARTHUR BIRD (1856-1940): Serenade for Wind Instruments, Op. 40 (ed. Gunther Schuller), CARL ORFF (1895-1982): Carmina Burana suite (arr. John Krance). Love those wind serenades by Brahms and Dvorak? Well, you'll have to have Bird's work from 1901, for wind octet. As tuneful, pastoral and conservative as you could like and just what you'd expect from an American who spent his life in Berlin bitterly criticizing such cacaphonous modern composers as Richard Strauss. And, for something completely different, the rare but not unrecorded La Fiesta - a three-movement work whose movement titles - "Prelude and Aztec Dance", "Mass" and "Carnaval" - tell you everything you need to know about its colorful, serious and comic, boisterous and tender variety of moods. Peabody Conservatory Wind Ensemble; Harlan D. Parker. Naxos Wind Band Classics 8.570242 (U.S.A.) 09I075 $7.98

SAMUEL BARBER (1910-1981): A Stopwatch and an Ordnance Map, Op. 15, Twelfth Night, Op. 42/1, To be sung on the water, Op. 42/2, The Monk and his Cat from Hermit Songs, Op. 29/8, Agnus Dei, Reincarnations, Op. 16, Under the Willow Tree, The Virgin Martyrs, Op. 8/1, Let Down the Bars, O Death, Op. 8/2, Heaven-haven, Op. 13/1, Sure on this shining night, Op. 13/3, Chorale for Ascension Day, God's Grandeur, 2 Choruses from Antony and Cleopatra, Op. 40. Many of these choral settings are of melancholic and nostalgic texts by Irish and English writers with A Stopwatch (describing the death of a soldier in the Spanish Civil War) standing out for its dissonant and disturbing quality and God's Grandeur for its ambition and grandeur. No texts. Len Vorster (piano), Ben Dickson (timpani), Choir of Ormond College, University of Melbourne; Douglas Lawrence. Naxos American Classics 8.559053 (U.S.A.) 09I076 $7.98

DANIEL BÖRTZ (b.1943): A Joker's Tales (Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra; Alan Gilbert), INGVAR KARKOFF (b.1958): Concerto for Recorder and Wind Orchestra (Östgöta Symphonic Wind Ensemble; Petter Sundkvist), FREDRIK ÖSTERLING (b.1966): Les voix du silence for Recorder Trio (Trio Paradox). Börtz sets us up with a high-energy opening - think Dohnanyi's Nursery song variations reimagined by Sallinen - and then introduces the little solo instrument, like a mischievous sprite, which holds its own against the thunderous insistence of the orchestra by cheekily appearing in every general pause with an incongruous comment. But this isn't a 'funny' piece (though it is a very approachable and entertaining one); the dialogue between the 'joker' and the orchestra ultimately generates a powerful dramatic effect. The Karkoff is also instantly likable, accessible and neo-romantically tuneful, placing the recorder in dialogue with chamber-like ensembles drawn from an orchestra of its own family of instruments. As the piece progresses, the dramatic tension ebbs and flows through a variety of episodes; the lyrical solo line is preserved throughout. Österling's work, for the unusual combination of three recorders, makes use of more modern gestures, though in keeping with its inspiration (in a love poem of Petrarch) it cunningly evokes antiquity as well as speech inflections, in a personal and emotional musical interpretation of the poem. Dan Laurin (recorder). BIS CD-1425 (Sweden) 09I077 $17.98

PER NØRGÅRD (b.1932): The Will-o'-the-Wisps Go to Town, BENT SØRENSEN (b.1958): The Little Mermaid. Nørgärd's work is based on a late, and frankly strange and sinister tale by Hans Christian Andersen, about will-'o-the-wisps which can invade and speak through people. The story also contains elements of cutting social and political commentary. An overture is followed by a dramatised telling of the story with Nørgärd's harmonically pungent post-romantic music providing highly effective scene-setting interludes. Sørensen's tale takes a different approach, setting the story as a dramatic cantata full of subdued but intense longing and suppressed drama. After an intense introductory section the work subsides into densely-textured, mostly quiet and withdrawn music, using spatial effects and subtle but pervasive dissonance to achieve an atmosphere of subtle tension, heightened by the intrusion of evocations of storms, bells and seabirds, like a dreamlike, or nightmarish, reimagining of the scene-setting of Britten's Peter Grimes. Danish-English texts. Inger Dam-Jensen, Ylva Kihlberg (sopranos), Helene Gjerris (mezzo), Gert Henning-Jensen, Bo Kristian Jensen (tenors), Jens Albinus (reciter), Sol og Måne Percussion Ensemble, Ars nova Copenhagen, Danish National Symphony Orchestra and Choirs/DR; Thomas Dausgaard. Dacapo 8.226046 (Denmark) 09I078 $15.98

NIELS VIGGO BENTZON (1919-2000): Partita, Op. 38 (rec. 1946), Toccata, Op. 10 (rec. 1942), Piano Sonata No. 3, Op. 44 (rec. 1949), Chamber Concerto for 11 Instruments, Op. 52 (w/Georg Vasarhelyi, Herman D. Koppel [pianos], Collegium Musicum, Copenhagen; Lavard Friisholm, rec. 1951), ARNOLD SCHOENBERG (1874-1951): 6 kleine Klavierstücke, Op. 19 (rec. 1949), Suite, Op. 25 (rec. 1946). Although the Partita and Toccata exist in later recordings by the composer, it's fairly well-known that Bentzon stopped practicing the piano in middle life and the playing on the newer recording is far worse than these which were made in his mid 20s, less than two years after their composition. That goes for the 1947 sonata as well and all are attractive, often exciting and rhythmically compelling works in a neo-baroque or neo-classical style. The Schoenberg recordings remind us that Bentzon was an advocate of other avant-garde composers too, although he never used Schoenberg's dodecaphonic system himself. Niels Viggo Bentzon (piano). Classico CLASSCD 561 (Denmark) 09I079 $17.98

JUDITH WEIR (b.1954): String Quartet, PETER MAXWELL DAVIES (b.1934): Little Quartets Nos. 1 and 2, EDWARD ELGAR (1857-1934): String Quartet in E Minor, Op. 83. Weir incorporates elements of folklore - more as stylistic influences than actual musical material; one is frequently conscious of her Scottish origins here as in much of her music while the brief Maxwell Davies quartets date from around the time when he started to embrace a post-Sibelian idiom, turning away from the radical experimentalism of his earlier theatrical output. This was the period when his music best combined originality with accessibility, and the Little Quartet No.1, an in memoriam piece, is especially powerful, despite its brief duration. Reinhold Quartet. Genuin GEN 86065 (Germany) 09I080 $17.98 Ø

BECHARA EL-KHOURY (b.1957): Piano Concerto, Op. 36, Poème No. 1 for Piano and Orchestra, Op. 11, Poème No. 2 for Piano and Orchestra, Op. 22, Méditation poétique for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 41, Poème No. 1 for Piano and Orchestra, Op. 11, Sérénade No. 1 for String Orchestra, Op. 10 "Feuilles d'Automne", Sérénade No. 1 for String Orchestra, Op. 20. If you haven't yet discovered this Lebanese-French composer through the original French CD issue eleven years ago, now is a good time to familiarize yourself with his rhapsodically emotional style, impressive orchestration and masterful assimilation of 20th century compositonal styles into his own voice (particularly good are the works for piano and orchestra which combine grand, romantic gestures with an orchestral sound which often recalls the spare, terseness of such Scandinavian composers as Pettersson and Rautavaara) - especially since a Naxos release next month will contain brand-new recordings not previously released. Abdel Rahman El Bacha (piano), David Lively (piano - Poémes), Gérard Poulet (violin), Orchestre Colonne; Pierre Dervaux. Original 1995 Forlane release. Naxos 8.557692 (New Zealand) 09I081 $7.98

TORU TAKEMITSU (1930-1996): Spirit Garden, Solitude Sonore, Dreamtime, A Flock Descends into the Pentagonal Garden, 3 Film Scores for String Orchestra. In addition to his most-performed work, we have here the six-minute Solitude from 1958, Takemitsu's response to Mayuzumi's Mandala Symphony and which shows his characteristic orchestrational style present at an early period; Dreamtime (1981) which, not unlike A Flock, proceeds through passages of randomness, fragmentary melodies and spikes of dissonance, the 1994 Spirit Garden, a work with a mysterious, sacred quality and the arrangements of music from three films produced in 1995. Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra; Marin Alsop. Naxos 8.557760 (New Zealand) 09I082 $7.98

OLLI KORTEKANGAS (b.1955): Messenius and Lucia. The story of Johannes Messenius, a 17th century historian who pursued his academic career with the utmost ambition, fell foul of the Protestant church - accused of heresy and treason - and was imprisoned for life with his family, makes a compelling operatic subject. Kortekangas' sumptuously romantic work paints a rich and vivid portrait of the man, his family and his times, in a chromatic tonal idiom that strongly recalls the Bartók of Bluebeard, and sometimes, Busoni, Sibelius, and Kortekangas' teacher, Rautavaara. The two acts are intentionally cast in somewhat different musical vocabularies; the first, with Messenius a free and ambitious man, is dominated by harmonic thinking and the ingenious incorporation of references to church music to suggest the Catholic and Protestant factions between which his career led him on a perilous path. The second, which takes place entirely during his imprisonment, is more chromatic, contrapuntal and ambiguous: uneasy, oppressed and oppressive music. The eloquent vocal writing and dramatic tension of the music powerfully evoke the brooding melancholy and menace of the times, and the triumphs and desperation of a man whose personal and professional fortunes ebbed and flowed according to his sometimes ambiguous actions. 2 CDs. Finnish-English libretto. Hannu Niemelä (baritone), Päivi Nisula (soprano), Essi Luttinen (mezzo), Niklas Spångberg (bass). Oulu Chamber Choir, Boys' Choir Ynnin Pojat, Oulu Symphony Orchestra; Arvo Volmer. Ondine ODE 1073 (Finland) 09I083 $35.98

FLORENCE PRICE (1887-1953): Sonata in E Minor, L. VIOLA KINNEY: Mother's Sacrifice, VALERIE CAPERS: Portraits in Jazz, DOROTHY RUDD MOORE (b.1940): A Little Whimsy, UNDINE SMITH MOORE (1904-1989): Before I'd be a Slave, ZENOBIA POWELL PERRY (1908-2004): Homage (to William Levi Dawson), MARGARET BONDS (1913-1972): Troubled Water. Standing out in this collection of piano music by black female Americans is Price's full-length (27 minutes) sonata of 1932 whose first two movements are mostly lyrical with nostalgic melodies winding through a late romantic landscape while the closing Scherzo is full of African-American melodic elements. Of the many smaller works, only Smith Moore's goes beyond traditional tonality even slightly. Maria Corley (piano). Albany TROY 857 (U.S.A.) 09I084 $16.98

VLADIMÍR GODÁR (b.1956): Talisman, PETER BREINER (b.1957): To Dear Mr. Bach on His Birthday, MARTIN BURLAS (b.1955): Hymn for the Forgotten Ones, IRIS SZEGHY (b.1956): Poetic Studies, JOZEF KOLKOVIC (b.1957): Nostalgia. A generation of closely connected Slovak composers present this disc of music for piano trio, all of it composed between 1983-5, except for Kolkovic, whose work is from 2002. Godár mixes Shostakovichian anguish and despair with minimalism, Breiner turns Bach into nostalgic salon and popular music, Burlas' minimalism is of the holy, meditative type, Szeghy's 15 miniatures, most lasting under a minute, are moderately avant-garde in an often, but not always atonal style while Kolkovic returns to the slow minimalism with which this recital began before a closing outburst of dissonant passion. Juraj Cizmarovic (violin), Ján Slávik (cello), Magdaléna Bajuszová (piano). Diskant DK-0083 (Slovakia) 09I085 $15.98

GEORG KATZER (b.1935): Medea in Korinth. The composer acknowledges the traditions of Greek tragedy by using the choir as narrator and commentator, emphasising the theatrical and dramatic aspects of this work. The music is broadly atonal, with long sung lines for the soloists, frequently accompanied by extended lyrical instrumental material of chamber-like texture for maximum clarity and intelligibility of text. Percussive sounds and massed effects are reserved for the choral episodes, with the full orchestra contributing to the ominous and oppressive scene-setting against which the characters play out their conflicts with implacable fate, represented by the irresistible force of the manipulated mob 2 CDs. No texts. Julie Moffat (soprano), Annette Markert (alto), Robert Künzli (tenor), Peter Klaveness (bass), Berliner Singakademie, Berlin Symphony Orchestra; Achim Zimmermann. Arte Nova ANO 532490 (Germany) 09I086 $9.98

DAVID MASLANKA (b.1943): Symphony No. 6 "Living Earth", 11:11 A Dance at the Edge of the World. We described Maslanka's style a year ago this month in a two CD set of wind music: "...is founded on sacred chorales which only serve as jumping off points for flights of engaging creativity which often touch down in wide-open-spaces music of classic, 20th century Americana feel." Exactly what we have here and the composer kindly provides the names of the nine Bach chorales which provide the themes for the five movements of the symphony and for the 17-minute tone-poem. To mention that the use of "Jesus Christ, our Savior" in the fourth movement of the symphony sounds now like a Christmas carol and now like an Ennio Morricone love-theme gives you an example of the skill and creativity with which Maslanka creates his compositions. Appalachian Symphony Orchestra; James Allen Anderson. Albany TROY 859 (U.S.A.) 09I087 $16.98

ANNA JASTRZEBSKA (b.1950): Telex to Poland for Piano, De Profundis for Soprano and Cello, Più inflano for Flute and Piano, Mosaic for String Quartet, Planetary Trip for Piano, Between Towns/ Antananarivo for Choir. A composer with an individual voice, making free use of the widest range of contemporary techniques while stopping short of out-and-out avant-garde experimentalism. The unusual combination of voice and cello is tellingly used in the demanding and dramatic De Profundis, while the more conventional Piu inflano contains aleatoric elements; nevertheless, this is a most approachable work containing much material of expressionistic nature as well as lively virtuosity. Mosaic, by contrast, is a resolutely modern work, though one of great variety of texture, which is not to deny the attractive if incongruous repeated appearance of vigorous Bartókian 'peasant dances'. The piano works alternate vigorous motoric action and sonorous resonance, while the concluding choral work demonstrates again the composer's skillful and original use of the voice, in a rhythmic-phonetic tapestry of overlapping syllables (derived from place names), like a relative of Toch's Geographical Fugue. Robert Morawski (piano), Izabela Klosinksa (soprano), Tomasz Strahl (cello), Jadwiga Kotnowska (flute), Camerata Vistula, Choir "Sine Nomine"; Piotr Zawistowski. Dux 0458 (Poland) 09I088 $16.98

HANS WERNER HENZE (b.1926): Aristaeus for Reciting Voice and Orchestra (Martin Wuttke [speaker], Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra; Marek Janowski.), Orpheus Behind the Wire (Berlin Radio Choir; Robin Gritton). The coupling is a 20-minute a cappella setting, chromatic and polyphonic, of five poems by Edward Bond, composed between 1981-3, the protagonist being an aged Orpheus, the intent a protest against the state murders being then committed by the military junta which ruled Argentina. Henze provided his own texts for Aristaeus (1997-2003), a 48-minute piece which ties together many of the varied Orpheus works in his uvre by retelling the tale through the eyes of Aristaeus, the shepherd whose lust for Eurydice caused her to flee, get bitten by a viper and die. Henze uses music from several earlier works but also composed a goodly amount of new orchestral music for the interludes between the narratives. German-English texts. Wergo WER 6680 (Germany) 09I089 $19.98

PETER RUZICKA (b.1948): Celan Symphonie for Soprano, Baritone and Orchestra, Erinnerung for Clarinet and Orchestra. Ruzicka's symphony is intimately related to his opera on the life of the poet, whose vividly expressive and haunted metaphors of the Holocaust (which claimed both his parents) resonated with the composer from his first encounter with Celan's poetry, and which have amounted to a compositional obsession ever since. From its foreboding opening, abruptly exploding into violence, the first movement, "presentiments", suggests that this is to be a work of epic scope and uncompromising emotional intensity. There is little relief from the tension and oppressively dark hues of the work throughout - far from easy listening, then, but entirely successful in achieving the atmosphere of brooding intensity appropriate to its subject. Ruzicka's musical vocabulary is post-late Mahlerian; more freely dissonant material incorporated into the argument says something of the troubled 20th century that followed, perhaps, but the underlying Romantic preoccupation with the human condition is clearly the basis for this 'new æsthetic'. Similarly effective, and similarly shadowy and uneasy, the clarinet concerto (in all but name) employs some unmistakably modern elements (a subtly introduced tape part, for example) in a work of wide expressive range and clear narrative thread woven through music of intriguing complexity. Anne-Carolyn Schlüter (soprano), Thomas Mohr (baritone), Sharon Kam (clarinet), North German Radio Symphony Orchestra; Peter Ruzicka. Thorofon CTH 2490 (Germany) 09I090 $17.98 Ø

GEORGES APERGHIS (b.1945): In Extremis for 8 Instruments, DE-QING WEN (b.1972): 4 poésies for Chamber Orchestra, MELA MEIERHANS (b.1961): Souffle combattant for Five- and Eight-string Violas and Ensemble. Aperghis' piece is a kind of concerto grosso for an unorthodox instrumental ensemble, all members and subsidiary groupings of which are afforded ample opportunity for bravura display. Experimental and free in form, the work weaves clear, light and airy textures from quite complex material (with limited use of extended instrumental techniques), progressing through stages of energetic activity to an eventual calm. De-Qing Wen was inspired to these four instrumental fantasias by the poetry of Li Bai (701 - 762); they aim to capture the essence of Chinese poetry as read aloud, with allusions also to calligraphy and painting. The music emphasizes color and timbre, and a theatrical sense of drama (frequently quite expressionistic and dissonant, not to say harsh), and incorporating a wide instrumental vocabulary from relatively conventional to the incorporation of 'noise' effects. Meierhans' work is theatrical, with suggestions of a hidden narrative hinted at by instrumental sound effects, the textures fragmented, though occasionally enlivened by jaunty driving rhythmic passages that serve to propel the music forward. Marie Schwab (viola), Nouvel Ensemble Contemporain; Pierre-Alain Monot. Musiques Suisses/Grammont MGB CTS-M 97 (Switzerland) 09I091 $18.98 Ø

ARTHUR KAMPELA (b.1960): Nosturnos, STEFANO GERVASONI (b.1962): Studio di Disabitudine, RANDY NORDSCHOW (b.1969): Detail of Beethoven's Hair, JAMES TENNEY (b.1934): Chromatic Canon, ELLIOTT SHARP (b.1951): Suberrebus for Piano and Computer Processing, CLAUDE VIVIER (1948-1983): Shiraz, GYÖRGY LIGETI (1923-2006): Études Nos. 16-18. This recital is the result of the pianist's interest in extending the possibilities of piano performance, of taking the pianist out of the pianistic routine and creating sounds which neither she nor anyone else would have heard before; she even suggested such works as might require her to develop new playing techniques or an "eleventh finger" (the disc's title). All but the Ligeti and Vivier were written specifically for Lin and run a wide gamut of sound worlds and compositional techniques and ideas - sufficiently wide to make it easier to just note that collectors of avant-garde piano music will not want to miss out on at least some of them. Jenny Lin (piano). Koch International Classics 7670 (U.S.A.) 09I092 $17.98

EARLE BROWN (1926-2002): Times Five for Flute, Trombone, Harp, Violin, Cello and Tape (various performers; Earle Brown), Octet I for 8 Loudspeakers, December 1952 for Piano (David Tudor), Novara for Piano, Flute, Trumpet, Bass Clarinet and String Quartet (various performers; Brown), Music for Violin, Cello and Piano (Matthew Raimondi [violin], David Soyer [cello], Tudor [piano]), Music for Cello and Piano (Dorothea von Albrecht [cello], Christine Olbrich [piano]), Nine Rare Bits for 2 Harpsichords (Antoinette Vischer, George Gruntz), From Folio for Piano, Computer and Electronics: November 1952, December 1952, Four Systems (Michael Daugherty). This useful reissue chronicles an important decade in the output of one of the leading figures in the American avant garde. The use of purely graphic notation (such as that of December 1952) to take what is actually heard in performance out of the hands of the composer as Cage wished, and strict serialism (in the sense of Boulez - at that time at any rate) occurred simultaneously in Brown's output. We hear examples of both here, as well as early, painstaking experiments with tape composition. Three pieces from Folio, including December 1952, realised with more recent (1990s) technology, illustrating the ongoing metamorphoses and contemporary relevance of Brown's innovations. Originally released as CRI 851. New World 80650-2 (U.S.A.) 09I093 $16.98

FRANZ LEHÁR (1870-1948): Der Graf von Luxemburg. Premiered in 1909 and revised in 1937 (we are not told which version is performed here), Der Graf is one of Lehár's less-recorded operettas. Given cpo's championing of the composer, it may finally have hit upon the best solution for recordings since their CD issues have never included libretti and translations (presumably for copyright reasons) - now subtitles are available and the cost is identical to a 2 CD set. Recorded live at the Theater an der Wien on July 16, 2005 4:3 (regular TV) picture format; 5.1 PCM Stereo; English sub-titles. Bo Skovhus (baritone), Juliane Banse (soprano), KlangBogen Festival Choir, Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra; Alfred Eschwé. CPO DVD 777 194 (Germany) 09I094 $31.98

DONALD TOVEY (1875-1940): Symphony in D, Op. 32. For those of you who've been asking about it, here's Tovey himself in what, until three months ago was the only other recording of the symphony. The orchestra is semi-professional, the sound better in quiet passages than loud and a failure in the broadcast caused a nine-second drop-out early in the final movement. Tovey does the whole thing about 90 seconds faster than on the new recording. Reid Symphony Orchestra; Donald Tovey (Feb. 25, 1937). Symposium 1352 (England) 09I095 $17.98

CAREY BLYTON (1932-2002): Dracula! or The Vampire Vanquished, Op. 87, Sweeney Todd the Barber, Op. 79. Part of a series of "Victorian melodramas" which Blyton wrote for, apparently, a mix of adult and young performers: the title page has it "for Narrator, Unison Voices and Piano plus Optional Instruments". Quite funny, these potted versions of two macabre tales come off like a vaudeville that might have been performed in a Victorian pub or a Western tavern - except for that children's chorus. Well, how about a Monty Python sketch about a troupe including a children's chorus performing macabre tales in a Victorian pub? Who could resist "Professor Van Helsing's Patter Song" and "Renfield's Dining-room Ballad"?. Texts included. Derek Wright (narrator), Soloists from New Decade Opera, The Redbridge Music School Singers and Instrumentalists; Edna Graham. Meridian CDE 84533 (England) 09I096 $17.98

ALFRED SCHNITTKE (1934-1998): Film Music, Vol. 2 - Clowns and Children, The Waltz, Glass Harmonica and The Ascent. This is what put food on Schnittke's table while he wrote a lot of concert music for the drawer and this new release offers a wide variety of styles, from the music for a surreal cartoon (Glass Harmonica) which uses a theremin, an early Russian synthesizer called an "Ekvodin", an electric organ, electric accordion and electric guitar along with a big orchestra to a wistful sequence of waltz pastiches and transcriptions, bright and pungent circus music and, in The Ascent, eerie and brooding war music for a film about Soviet partisans. You don't need to know or to have seen any of these films for the scores to be thoroughly enjoyable. Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra; Frank Strobel. Capriccio SACD hybrid 71 061 (Germany) 09I097 $18.98 Ø

DMITRI SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975): The Fall of Berlin, Op. 82 (complete score), Suite from The Unforgettable Year 1919, Op. 89a. This 45-minute suite of music from the 1949 film The Fall of Berlin offers the most music ever recorded from this score. There is plenty of tub-thumping and kitsch as both films celebrate Stalin (a rabble-rousing choral "Stalin at Berlin Airport" is part of The Fall of Berlin). In The Unforgettable Year 1919 (1951), the young Stalin is further glorified for his (greatly amplified) role in the defense of Petersburg from reactionary elements. If you missed the original release, you also missed the 24-page booklet with stills and synopses, since those are no longer provided. Moscow Capella and Youth Chorus, Moscow Symphony Orchestra; Adriano. Original 2002 Marco Polo release. Naxos 8.570238 (New Zealand) 09I098 $7.98

DAVE BRUBECK (b.1920): 24 Nocturnes, Mr. Fats, I Still Am in Love With a Girl Named Oli. Apparently written throughout his life but only published as a set in 1997 (non-classical artists and performers can be notoriously hard to pin down on such information when they write liner notes), these short pieces (the whole disc lasts only 55 minutes) are the opposite end of the spectrum from the previous Brubeck disc in this series with its half-hour-long Chromatic Fantasy Sonata - small lyrical pieces in which longing, tenderness and nostalgia are the predominant themes. John Salmon (piano). Naxos American Classics 8.559301 (U.S.A.) 09I099 $7.98