CHAVEZ: Los Cuarto Soles (The Four Suns). Seletions from Pirámide.
AmAmbrosian Singers / London Symphony Orchestra / Carlos Chavez, cond
COPLAND: Appalachia Spring.
Columbia Chamber Orchestra / Aaron Copland, cond.
DUTTON EPOCH SACD CDLX 7366 TT: 82:29 (CD). SACD: 99:38

LINIKE: Concerto in F-dur fur zwei ibien, violino obligato, Streicher und Basso continuo. Sonata g-moll fur violine, oboe und basso continuo. Sonata a 3 B Dür for Oboe, Faggotte und Basso continuo.
MUSICAPHON 46972 (2 disks) TT: 64:25

VEPRIK: Dances and Sohngs of the Ghetto, Op. 12 Two Symphonic Songs, O.20. Fuve Little Pieces for Orchestra, Op. 17. Pastorale. Two Poems.
BBC National Orchestra of Wales / Christopher-Mathias Mueller, cond.
MDG SACD 901 2133 TT: 74:51

Mexican Carlos Chávez (1899 - 1978) is his country's most famous composer. He figured prominently on America's musical scene the first half of the century as a conductor and appeared with the NBC and Boston Symphony and many other orchestras. A prolific composer, he wrote six symphonies, other orchestral works, a number of concertos for various instruments, chamber music and music for solo performers. This important new SACD gives us the opportunity to hear rare recordings of two of the compose's major works, two ballets that reflect his Mexican heritage. They have been out of the catalog for years but now we can experience them in the original quadraphonic audio recorded March 16 - 18, 1973 in London's Abbey Road Studio. We have two ballets about the ancient Nahua race that existed centuries before the Aztecs. As Chávez explains in his program notes, the Narhua were highly imaginative and artistic. The ballet The Four Suns was composed in 1925. It represents three prehistoric ages or soles of water, wind, and fire. the latter destroying the human race. It is a 28-minute work with a highly percussive orchestra. A mixed chorus is featured throughout, the remarkable Ambrosian Chorus in repertory that doubtless was new to them.

Chávez wrote the libretto and music for his 20-minue ballet Piramide He describes it as, "a fantasy in which are presented chromatographic compositions, plastic-dynami ensembles, primitive forms of life, , and dncdances proper, to suggest the passing of the human race from chaos, myths, superstitions, discoveries, etc., to an ideal reunion and cooperation of people of all places." There are two sections, the first describing the elements: wind, water, earth and fire; the second is a General Dance. This score also is highly percussive and the mixed chorus has much to do, Al of the percussion and voices are spread out in effective multi-channel audio; a feast for the audiophile. No texts/translations re provided;

This SACD also includes the first complete recording of the original version of Aaron Copland's Appalachian Spring Ballet. This recording was made in 1974 with the Columbia Chamber Orchestra conducted by the composer, Of great importance is inclusion of a 17-minute rehearsal; this track is available only when listening to the SACD layer This is a major release of great historic interest. Audiophiles will delight in the spread out percussion in the two Chávez works. Don't miss it¡

Johann Georg Linike ( ca.1680 - 1762) had great competition during his era from Bach, Telemann and Handel and many others. While he was respected, his music has been virtually ignored, and this SACD offers what surely are premiere recordings of mush of his music. He was apparently particularly fond of the oboe, and we have four works that feature the instrument: , two concerto and six sonatas. The splendid performances are by the period instrument group The Concert Royal Köln. The recording presents a satisfying multi-channel sonic picture. There are two disks, the first a regular SACD, the second described as "binaural in 3D.: The two disks sell for the price of one. An unusual sonic release. It does seem odd that the label would use such advanced digital techniques to reproduce the sound of a small chamber group.

Soviet Jewish Russian Alexander Moiseyevich Veprik (1889 - 1958) was a composer and music educator. He is considered o be one of the greatest composers of the "Jewish school" in Soviet music. He taught at the Moscow Conservatory (1923–1941; was professor from 1930, and dean from 1938 until he left. He was recognized internationally. His music was conducted by Hermann Scherchen, Dimitri Mitropoulis and Alexander Gauk. Arturo Toscanini conducted Dances and Songs of the Ghetto. In 1950 Veprik was arrested as a "Jewish nationalist" and spent some years in the Gauk prison. While in prison, he organized an orchestra made up of prisoners. After being released from prison he returned to Moscow in ill heath and died there in 1958. In spite of his music being accepted early in his career,he was soon virtually forgotten, and there are few recordings. Conductor Christoph-Mathias Mueller (b. 1967) is trying to correct this with this new recording of sine of his major orchestral works. Mueller has written profuse program notes about the tragic life of this neglected composer and gives detailed program notes about this music and the composer's intent Veprik's tragic life is reflected in his music, and it is easy to understand its neglect. Small Pieces for Orchestra actually is an orchestration of earlier piano pieces. Originally called Orchestral Suite on Jewish Themes, the title had to be changed because of Soviet disapproval. The first version of Pastorale was composed in 1946 and is largely based on the slow movement of his Symphony No. 2. It is a bleak reminder of the composer's tragic life and illness. Surely Vepik's music benefits from these fine performances by the BBC Orchestra. The recording was made March 19 - 21, 2019 in London's Cardiff Hall, and the engineers have captured a most realistic multi-channel sound. An unusual issue, for the adventurous.

R.E.B. (November 2019)