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

Francis Poulenc – Recommended Recordings

Dialogues Des Carmelites, Dervaux, Duval, Regine Crespin, EMI 48228 Dialogues Des Carmelites, Dubosc, J. Van Dam, Kent Nagano, Orchestra, Virgin Classics 59227 Stabat Mater, Regine Crespin (soprano), René Duclos Chorus, Georges Prêtre, Paris Conservatoire Orchestra (+ Rossini, Verdi and Syzmanowski), EMI 687612 Stabat Mater, Gloria, Barbara Hendricks (soprano), Georges Prêtre, Orchestra National de France, EMI 749851 Stabat Mater, Soprano … More Francis Poulenc – Recommended Recordings


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

Mieczysław Weinberg – Recommended Recordings

Piano Quintet & Quartet no. 8, Borodin String Quartet, M. Weinberg (piano), Melodiya 1001998 Pretty much regardless of your preferences (orchestra, vocal, chamber), this should be your first listen-stop on your Weinberg tour of discovery. Some of the greatest Soviet artists and the composer himself giving their best in two of Weinberg’s finest works. Unmissable. … More Mieczysław Weinberg – Recommended Recordings

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