Germany—Reznicˇek/Burger/Spephan Emil Nikolaus von Reznicˇek Three CPO releases convince me that only now are we getting a fuller glimpse ofthe golden glowfrom the final sunset outburst ofthe Austro- Hungarian Empire. Vienna before World War I—and even up until the Anschluss—was as fecund a cultural capital as the world has ever seen. The musical wealth was … More Germany


France—Ropartz/Caplet Joseph-Guy Ropartz Joseph-Guy Ropartz is my French discovery of the decade, thanks to the Timpani label, which introduced me to his Quartets nos. 4–6, played by the Quartet Stanislas (1C1115). This strikes me as some of the finest French chamber music I have heard from the period between Frank, Fauré, and Ravel. Even more … More France


England—Holst/Brian/Alwyn/Sainsbury Gustav Holst Gustav Holst (1874–1934) was a petite maître with a strong streak of mysticism. He could set words, often from medieval poetry, with the beauty of a jeweler. His most famous work, The Planets, was the musical Star Wars of its time, and continues to be so popular that it has eclipsed the … More England


Denmark—Langgaard/Schierbeck Rued Langgaard Rued Langgaard (1893–1952) was one of the original wild men of music who, despite or perhaps because of his eccentricity, wrote some startlingly visionary music. He is very hard to place. Think of him as Denmark’s answer to the great British visionary eccentric, Havergal Brian. During his lifetime, Langgaard was largely ignored … More Denmark


Belgium—Joseph Ryelandt Belgian composer Joseph Ryelandt (1870–1965) was born and died in Bruges where he studied law until Edgar Tinel took him in as his sole student of composition. He was a devout Catholic who seemed almost indifferent to the fate of his works, which included a number of large-scale oratorios on different aspects of … More Belgium


Austria—Karl Weigl Austrian composer Karl Weigl (1881–1949), scion of a prosperous Jewish family, prospered in Vienna. Weigl, who had studied with Alexander Zemlinsky, worked for Gustav Mahler at the Viennese opera as his rehearsal conductor, an experience Weigl called ‘‘the most instructive period of my life’’. In 1910, he won the coveted Beethoven Prize for … More Austria

Heitor Villa-Lobos – Recommended Recordings

‘‘Alma Brasileira’’ (Bachianas Brasileiras nos. 4, 5, 7 & 9; Chôros no. 10) Renée Fleming, Michael Tilson Thomas, New World Symphony, RCA Victor Red Seal 68538 Complete Bachianas Brasileiras & Chôros plus Complete Works for Solo Guitar AndersMiolin (guitar), Cristina Ortiz (piano), John Neschling, Roberto Minczuk, OSESP, BIS 1830 [HA33] Complete Bachianas Brasileiras, Naxos 8. … More Heitor Villa-Lobos – Recommended Recordings

Ralph Vaughan Williams – Recommended Recordings

Complete Symphonies, Andre Previn, London Symphony Orchestra, RCA 55708 (six CDs—though now available as MP3s at Complete Symphonies, Leonard Slatkin, Philharmonia Orchestra, RCA 7902492 (six CDs) Complete Symphonies, Sir Adrian Boult, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Decca 473 2412 Hodie; Fantasia on Christmas Carols, David Wilcocks, EMI 69872 (as an Arkiv CD) Hodie; Sea Symphony, Richard … More Ralph Vaughan Williams – Recommended Recordings

Peteris Vasks and Einojuhani Rautavaara – Recommended Recordings

Vasks Cantabile (1979); Cor anglais Concerto (1989); Message (1982); Musica dolorosa (1983); Lauda (1986), the Riga Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Kriss Rusmanis, Conifer 51236 Concerto for Cello and Orchestra, and String Symphony, Voices (Balsis), Riga Philharmonic Orchestra and cellist David Geringas, conducted by Jonas Aleksa, Conifer 51271 Concerto for Violin and String Orchestra, Distant Light; … More Peteris Vasks and Einojuhani Rautavaara – Recommended Recordings