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Luigi (aka: Louis; he lived in Paris, where his scores were published, harpist) Concone (c. 1800), Six Préludes Followed by Six Progressive Sonatas for Harp and Bassoon, Op. 26, Rachel Talitman b. 1951, harp (Wurlitzer [See the P.S. at the end], Grand Concert, serial # 690, date unknown, c. 1911-12?), and Mavroudes Troullos, bassoon, Harp & Co., CD-5050-47, © 2021, TT 82:47 (49:54 + 32:53); $19.50, at Presto.
When There Are No Words; Revolutionary Works for Oboe and Piano, Alex Klein, oboe, Phillip Bush, piano; William Bolcom (b. 1938), Aubade – for the continuation of life (1982), Benjamin Britten (1913-1976), Temporal Variations (1936), Pavel Haas (1899-1944), Suite for Oboe and Piano (1939), Paul Hindemith (1895-1963), Sonata for Oboe and Piano (1938), José Siqueira (1907-1985), Three Études for Oboe with Piano Accompaniment (1992), Klement Slavický (1910-1999), Suite for Oboe and Piano (1959); Çedille CDR 90000 208, © 2022, TT 75:51, $16.00, from Çedille.
Both of these labels were founded/launched by individuals who had the agenda of supporting specific types of classical music, but of very different kinds, and for very different valid and worthy reasons. The former, harpist Rachel Talitman, in the early 2000s, promoted the instrument and the music written for it over the centuries, as well as her own playing; the latter, "The Notorious RBG"'s son, James Ginsburg, in 1989, promoted Chicago-based classical music and musicians that have become more unknown in recent years in comparison with earlier prominence, prior to West Coast cities' musical organizations being founded and providing competition. The CDs being the reason (excuses) for highlighting and focusing on them are their most recent releases that came on the market on the heels of each other; I personally have several of their products, so am very aware of their presence and quality, for many years in the case of the latter (some of which I've reviewed in these pages), but the former is a very recent random discovery, after my review of the Yolanda Kondonassis one prompted me to explore the Internet for more harp music.
There are significant differences between the ways the two operate and finance their businesses. The former is a one-woman operation in Brussels, capital city of a small European country that has been known for its music and musicians since the Middle Ages; the latter is a not-for-profit enterprise with a foundation in an American metropolis that had a major classical music presence in the 20th century; both places have a lesser influence and presence on their scenes now. The former self-produces or gets different people to produce all of the facets of all its products; the latter has a fairly diverse and large team of professionals in various aspects/segments of the production process. Having worked in the retail recorded-music business on several occasions, I have firsthand knowledge of how they operate and how difficult it is not to fail; several firms for which I worked had to close.
As a result of my experience, I can understand how Talitman runs her business, because I know what she has to assemble to support what she does musically. I learned of her and her label when I discovered a CD on Amazon that included a work by a composer about whom I was trying to learn more than his name: Jean Absil (1893-1974), a contemporary of Les Six, who lived in Paris for a time, so knew them, and of Ravel (1875-1937), and came across and purchased CD-5050-28, Belgian Chamber Music (a winner), © 2011, that pairs his Sicilienne (1950) for violin and harp and Concert à Cinq, Op. 38 (1939), for flute, violin, viola, 'cello, and harp, with several works by Michel Lysight (b. 1958 [the year I graduated from HS & entered college]), of whom I had not previously heard: Chronographie X for flute, violin, viola, 'cello, and harp (2011), Trois instantanés for flute and harp, An Awakening for violin, 'cello, and harp (2002), Ripple Marks for flute, viola, 'cello, and harp (1999), and Labyrinthes for flute (1997), all first recordings here. From there, because I liked the music, the performance, and the product, my search continued and I contacted Talitman, which led to her sending me the Concone CD, along with a copy of CD-5050-24 Jean Cras (1879-1932; yet another winner), © 2010, a Breton composer who was also a naval officer and had his piano on his ship to be able to compose when at sea, whose music is very nice, because I told her I'd like to get it but couldn't find it for sale anywhere. When I asked her how to acquire her CDs, she replied: "Amazon and CD Baby," which rang a bell, because a pianist friend used the latter business to publish one of hers, reviewed here (its 'TT 62:41' is missing from the tray card, too [see below about this], as is its © 2005 from the review!), but it's no longer a source for retail purchases.
Like a large number of her CDs, this is the first (and only) recording of these works, but the Concone may well also be the first of music by this composer: using a Google search, there is virtually no information about him anywhere else. It's not a spectacular find, but is pleasant and enjoyable, with variety among the pieces, some of which have melodies that seem familiar, though I cannot place them (I've never been good at 'Name that tune'!), and there's obviously a score; it has an Op. #, and he must have written at least 25 works earlier (where are their scores?). The playing is, as usual, beautiful and excellent. When you look at the 46 other recordings in the long line of the issues on her label (she also has a few on other labels), you discover that she's a 'magician' in the rediscovery of earlier, now long-forgotten, and therefore unknown composers, that deserve rebirths/revivals; a sampler follows below. Interestingly, her first CD-5050-01 (see below), was also music for bassoon and harp: French Recital. Luc Loubry, who also helped with the production of several of the other CDs, was her duo partner then.
I have acquired over 15 more, so now own 22, including the two earliest: CD-5050-01, A French Recital for Bassoon and Harp, Bernard Andrès (b. 1941 [like me]), Chants d'Arrières Saisons, Gabriel Grovlez (1879-1944), Sicilienne et Allegro Giocoso, Théodore Lalliet (1837-1892), Fantaisie sur des motifs de Chopin, Op. 31, Camille Saint-Saëns (1835-1921), Romance, Op. 36, Romance Op. 51, Sonate, Op. 168 (for bassoon & piano, trans. by RT for harp), Gabriel Verdalle (1845-1912), Méditation, Op. 18, Rêverie, Op. 24; Luc Loubry, bassoon, & Talitman, © 2004, TT 67:42; and CD-5050-02, © 2004, [English harpist, Elias] Parish Alvars, (1808-1849), La Danse des Féés, Op. 76, Fantaisie sur des Thèmes de Bellini pour flûte et harpe [The title is: Fantasia on Dernières Pensées/Last Theme by Bellini for flute and harp, (in collaboration with Joseph Fahrbach) PA2, Ricordi, 1838], Grande Fantaisie pour la harpe, Op. 31, Voyage d'un harpiste en Orient, [Op. 62]; Étienne Plasman, flute, & RT, TT 67:4. In the un-numbered 8-pp. booklets of CD 01 & 02, she announces, in her bio on p. : "Her goal is to play, record[,] and promote a repertoire unknown, although rich with different composers who in their times contributed to the notoriety of the virtuosity of the harp, as a dominant instrument, solo and in chamber music."
Loubry and Talitman created (in 1980, CDs 01 & 02, p.  in their accompanying booklets) "a chamber ensemble: L'Ensemble Harpeggio, with several instrumentalists of international reputation" (p.  in CDs 01 & 02's booklets; my translation from the French, that part not being translated in the English equivalent), with Loubry as its director. It's the center of interest in CD-5050-16, © 2008, TT 55:46, devoted to Austrian Johann Georg Albrechtsberger (1736-1809 [also the year of Joseph Haydn's death]), acquaintance of Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven, with a trio with flute and 'cello, and a concertino in B-flat with flute, violin, viola, and 'cello, in which the harp is the accompanying instrument (like a guitar, harpsichord, lute, piano, or theorbo), surrounding a concerto, with those instruments as the orchestra, in which it's the star.
They are also the duo on German Recital, Carl Almenräder (1786-1843), Potpourri (1824), Christoph Schaffrath (1709-1763), Duetto in F flat, Louis Spohr, (1784-1859); his wife was harpist Doretta Scheidler, and he composed for, and played and toured in duo with her, Adagio (perhaps WoO 35 for violin and piano, transcribed?), Franz Schubert (1797-1828), Arpeggione Sonata (1824), transcribed by Loubry & Talitman, very interestingly and successfully, because that's what the harp excels in doing, and the 6-string instrument, a cross between the guitar and the 'cello (on which it is usually played today; no example remains. One wonders how a musician could bow and pluck the same strings simultaneously with one hand, since the other is needed to create the notes for the bowing by pressing the strings against the instrument's neck? A serious dexterity must have been necessary! The 6-string instrument was devised in Vienna by Johann Georg Staufer, and may well have sounded something like the combination of these instruments. (p.  in the accompanying booklet), CD-5050-07, © 2009, TT 61:10. This instrumental combination is beguiling.
The early CDs are followed by French Music for Harp and String Quartet, André Caplet (1878-1925), Conte fantastique d'après l'histoire d'Edgar [Allen] Poe, Masque de la Mort Rouge (1924), Marcel Samuel Rousseau (1862-1955), Variations pastorales sur un vieux Noël (1917/27), Marcel Tournier (1878-1955), Féerie (1912), Images (transcribed from Songs): 1) "Les Anesses grises sur la route d'el-Azib," 2) "Danseuses à la fontaine d'Ain-Draham," 3) "Soir de fête à Sedjenane [sites/sights along a route/trip in Algeria]," Op. 35 (1930), Benjamin Braude & Irina Sherling, violins, Samuel Barsegian, viola, Dieter Schutzhoff, 'cello, RT, harp, CD-5050-05, © 2005, TT 48:03; a lovely and exotic program hypnotically played. Who'd have thought that a harp could do and evoke all of this? Reminiscent of some music by Saint-Saëns and words of Albert Camus, who visited and lived there respectively.
Two others worth mentioning are CD-5050-26, British Chamber Music for Flute, Viola, and Harp, Arnold Bax (1883-1953), Elegiac Trio (GP 178, 1916), Edward Elgar (1857-1934), Chansons, Op. 15, Nos 1 & 2 (de matin & de nuit, 1889-90), William Matthias (1934-1992), Zodiac Trio Op. 70 (1976), Johnathan Lloyd (b. 1948), Like Fallen Angels (1986), Marcos Fredgnani-Martins and Pierre-Henry Xuereb on the two accompanied instruments respectively; © 2011, TT 42:19 – again, I want(ed) more!; and CD-5050-30, French Chamber Music […], same instrumentation and personnel, Victor François Desvignes (1805-1853), Trio in A (1845), Théodore Dubois (1837-1924), Terzettino (1905), Aubade printanière (1909), Latislas de Rohozinski (1886-1938), Suite brève (1921), Maurice Thiriet (1906-1972), Suite en trio (1956); © 2012, TT. 57:12. It's the same instrumentation as Claude Debussy's well-known and oft-played Sonate pour flûte, alto et harpe (1915), but I had never heard any of these works. The music is beautifully played and lovely, but likely unknown to most listeners (as it was to me, though I knew who some of the composers were/are).
An earlier CD that I did not own (I ordered it – I hope eventually to acquire all the others) arrived on 15 June: Hommage à Debussy, CD-5050-10, © 2007, TT 61:34, $14.00 via Presto, closes with a performance of it, after three other works with the same instrumentation; the opening one, Scènes de la forêt, by a forgotten woman composer, Mel (= Mélanie) Bonis (1858-1937), contemporary, Conservatoire classmate, and friend of Debussy, (of whose music I have several recordings, but I have none of the other two composers); Henri Lazarof, (1932-2013), Harp Trio (The 'Litomar') [in English, because he was teaching at Brandeis and it was premièred there] (2003-04), 4 mvmts; Oedoen Partos, (1907-77), L'invenzione a tre (Homage a Debussy) (1977), 1 mvmt; RT, Mihi Kim, flute, Pierre-Henry Xuereb, viola. The program notes say that both Partos' and Debussy's were their last compositions, but D's was his next-to-last; its English text does not contain all the information in the original French one. All of these are world première and still sole, recordings; the Lazarof is available on Spotify. D's was recorded several times, though many singles are out of print, while others are in large box-sets; curiously, I have only one other (also out of print): a harmonia mundi commemorative one on the centennial of his death, by well-known musicians playing period instruments: Magali Mosnier, flute (Louis Lot, # 2862, 1880), Antoine Tamestit, viola (Stradivarius "Mahler," 1672), Xavier de Maistre, harp (Érard [inventor of the modern chromatic pedal harp], Louis XVI style, late 19th century). While I generally favor/prefer period instruments, I find this Harp & Co. a particularly good reading, although, except for the second movement, its pace is noticeably slower.
A pair of CDs by living composers are amazing: Anthony Girard (b.1959 [E. Patchogue, LI, NY, near Selden, where I lived 1949-1958]), Music for Harp; Voyage au gré des illusions (2011; dedicated to Talitman), La Colombe et le Lys (2008), Entre le souffle et le murmure (2010), Plus haut que les oiseaux (1991), Talitman, harp, Alexei Moshkov, violin, Marcos Fregnani-Martins, flute, Pierre-Henri Xuereb, viola, Antoine Maisonhaute, Jan Peters, violin, Maxime Desert, viola, Jeanne Maisonhaute, 'cello, Orchestre II Sono, Michel Lysight, cond.; CD-5050-36, © 2014, TT 71:49, $17.00 via Presto. This is as modern modal-tonal and as gorgeously enrapturing and ethereal as it gets! The notes in the accompanying booklet are at least partially by the composer, with Talitman's collaboration; the last work is "[…] under the sign of a twin parentage: minimalism […] and a lyricism of mystical essences that promotes arabesque curves with the flute deploying its fluidity and brightness." (p. ); and–
Dirk-Michael Kirsch (b. 1965), Isles of Dreams – Chamber Music for Harp, Açores [Azores; each movement bears the name of 1 of the 9 islands] – Suite charastéristique for flute, English horn, viola, 'cello, harp, Op. 35 (2018), Élégie for English horn, Op. 23 (2009), Deux Impromptus for harp, Op. 37 (2019; commissioned by and dedicated to Talitman), Trio pastoral for flute, viola and harp [again the instrumentation of Debussy's Sonate], Op. 12 (1998-2004 [first recording in the original form]), …one summer day… for flute and harp, Op. 9a (1997/2016), Trio pastoral for alto flute, viola, and harp, Op. 12a (2019), Trois nocturnes for oboe and harp, Op. 6a (2019, rewritten from a set of four Songs [1992/2017] for this CD), Pastorale for oboe and harp, Op. 3 (1986), all world première recordings; Marcos Fregnani-Martins, flute, Laurent Houque, viola, Karolina Prieels, 'cello, D-MK, oboe, Heike Steinbrecher, English horn, Talitman, harp; CD-5050-43, ©2019, $14.25 from Presto. "Pastoral" is the clue to the charming atmosphere and sounds of this music that is carefully composed and structured to evoke geography and nature: "The length of each movement of Açores [that bears its name] is proportional to the size of each island"; it "is subtitled Hommage à Maurice Ravel." and structured to be performed with his 1905 septet Introduction et Allegro […] (p. 2 of the accompanying booklet).
It opens CD-5050-39, In the Light of Ravel, all of whose other offerings are by living composers, all of whom wrote the notes for their works: Robert Groslot (b. 1951), Poème Secret (2014, dedicated to Talitman), Michel Lysight, A Tribute to Philip K. Dick (2001), John Metcalf (b. 1946), Septet (2008), Sergiu Natra (b. 1924), Pour Nicanor (1988, commissioned by harpist Nicanor Zabaleta, with two of whom I am familiar, two not; all but the Ravel and Metcalf are world première recordings; Akhtamar Quartet, Raphaël Aubry, viola, Johannes Burghoff, Hélène Dautry, 'cello, Jean-Marc Fessard, clarinet, Marcos Fregnani-Martins, flute, Clément Holvoet, viola, Laurent Houque, violin II, Daniel Rubenstein, violin I, Talitman, harp. © 2016, TT 59:06, $14.25 from Presto.
Some of the booklets have, unfortunately, a somewhat amateurish presentation that compromises the products' overall excellent quality, especially that of the recordings themselves. On the other hand, nearly all their covers (shown in thematic groups, not issuing order, on pp. [3-11] of the Concone's, and in different arrangements in several others) feature attractive original works of art (some un-identified), or reproductions of older works of art (also unidentified); a few are photos of composers or performers. The Parish-Alvars is further compromised by the track list on the outside of its tray card that is not a standard format, so does not conform to the track #'s that show on a player's display. Because I have worked in both the broadcasting and the retail sales businesses of recorded classical music, I know what listeners, DJs, and potential purchasers of it (= customers) expect and want for information and quality in a product. Some of it, including the missing art credits, and especially total running times (TT) of the programs, missing from most of the tray cards, detracts, alas, from the truly lovely music and the superb performances of it. As you can see from the TT's in this review, while many are chock-full, some are a bit short in quantity of music, and some don't have adequate information in the accompanying documentation – if none is available, that should be stated, as I have done. (I despise pay-walls in encyclopedic information, because that ought not to exist for electronic resources; no one should be profiting from historical information in this universally accessible medium. Access to it should be a human right; this was the principle behind the creation of encyclopedias in the 18th century; it went along with the belief in democracy.)
All of the CDs are undeniably well worth the investment: the art is there in abundance; I do not regret having purchased a single one, but I'm an 80-year-old professional (scholar with a Ph.D.) researcher, reviewer, and writer, and know how to fill in the gaps that the average customer doesn't know and can't do. Artists often fall into this trap of not thinking of their products from the perspective of the potential purchaser. Some people, like me, tend to go overboard, because too much information is far better than too little. This label is, nonetheless, an important, major, and unique contribution to the archives and world of recorded music in terms of the importance of its products.
Klein and Bush's CD is a member of another specialized category: music composed by persecuted, some executed, composers. In the early 1990s, London-based Decca introduced a series: Entartete Musik; Music Suppressed by the Third Reich (named for a 1937 [in]famous art exhibition in Munich, Entarte Kunst, whose centennial is only 15 years off); its executive producer was NC native Michael Haas, then living in London, later in Vienna; he has since written a book on the subject: Forbidden Music; The Jewish Composers Banned by the Nazis, Yale University Pres, © 2014, Pp. 376, $22.00 (I've ordered a copy via Amazon). It was recorded in various European countries, and discontinued abruptly in the early 2000s; I have every issue in my collection. The Chandos label has a similar series: Music in Exile, featuring the ARC Ensemble (Artists of the Royal Conservatory, in Toronto, Ont, Canada, © 2017-2021; they also have an earlier related CD, © 2006, on the RCA label.); I have all five (+1) of those, too.
This is all music you never hear live, but is just as beautiful, interesting, valid, and worthy as the chestnuts you hear repeatedly. Much of it is very creative, experimental, radically different from the standard, run-of-the-mill forms, off-the-beaten-path, revolutionary (not in a violent sense), well worth hearing and knowing, and often very fascinating, interesting, pleasing, impressive, striking, even. None of this contributed to its having been condemned by the parties in power – their non-music agendas prompted their actions/decisions. The music is often surprisingly, unexpectedly upbeat, diverse and varied, very enjoyable and interesting, particularly the Britten and the Siqueira, a composer previously unknown to me, as was Slavický, both welcome acquaintances, whose works are likewise fascinating, but must be a devilish challenge to play, especially for Klein, in an amazing climax of a great program.
Klein and Bush's first CD with Çedille is Twentieth Century Oboe Sonatas: York Bowen (1884-1961), Sonata for Oboe and Pianoforte, Op. 85 (1944); Eugene Bozza (1905-1991), Sonate for Oboe and Piano (1971); Henri Dutilleux (1916-2013), Sonata for Oboe and Piano (1947); Pet[e]r Eben (1929-2007), Sonata for Oboe and Piano, Op. 1 (1950); Francis Poulenc (1889-1963), Sonate pour hautbois et piano, FP 185 (1962); Camille Saint-Saëns (1835-1921), Sonate pour hautbois en ré majeur, Op. 166 (1921); CDR 90000 186, © 2019, TT 79:26. This was a recording of all the "meat and potatoes of oboe playing, plus a few more that are personally important to me" (p. 3) that Klein had wanted to do all his life, but his musician's focal dystonia that struck him in 2004 interfered with his career; however, he rebuilt his playing and was able to realize his dream in 2018, unsure that he would be able to record another, but thankfully, he was able to achieve that, too! His performances are superb in both!
Çedille is also the home of Third Coast Percussion, an up-and-coming classically-trained percussion quartet (Sean Connors, Robert Dillon, Peter Martin, David Skidmore), whose latest (# 5) recording, Perspectives, was released on 13 May: Danny Elfman, Percussion Quartet, Philip Glass, Metamorphosis No. 1, Jlin, Perspective, Flutonix: Nathalie Joachim and Alison Loggins-Hull + TCP, Rubix; Çedille CDR 90000 210, © 2022, TT 74:29, $16.00 from Çedille. All are world première recordings. There is more variety in this release than in their four previous ones, as its title would make you expect. Their real hit, with me, at least, is its second: Paddle-to-the-Sea, CDR 9000 175, © 2018, TT 78:52, $16 from Çedille. It is inspired by the © 1966 National Film Board of Canada film, based on, but by no means following exactly the plot line of the © 1941 (there's that year again) Caldecott Medal-winning children's picture book of the same title by Holling Clancy Holling. Holling is also the artist of the oil paintings, whose reproductions on the right pages and the b&w engravings picturing events in the trip on the left pages tell, in 27 chapters, the tale of the one-foot long canoe, hand-carved from a piece of pine by an Canadian Indian boy, with a boy and a paddle in it, that floats from Lake Nipogon, through all the Great Lakes via their connecting rivers, and down the Saint Lawrence (called Canada by the Indigenous peoples) River, to the Grand Banks of Newfoundland, and into the North Atlantic Ocean, across which it is carried on a fishing boat to France. I find this especially charming and enchanting, as well as a fine work of art. The equally enchanting CD with TCP's 10-movement work of the same title, composed to be performed live with a viewing of the film, opens with Philip Glass' Madeira River, and is followed by an arrangement by Musekiwa Chingodza of a traditional Zimbabwe song: Chigwaya, and Jacob Druckman's six-movement Reflections on the Nature of Water, with movements interspersed with more Glass Rivers from Aguas da Amazonia arr. by TCP. Its first: Tribute to Steve Reich, for his 80th birthday, won the 2016 Grammy Award.
My second favorite is the third, Fields, a collaboration with Devonté Hynes (b. 1985), who started out as a classical musician and then moved into punk and pop, "[…] one of the most influential voices in music today […]" (p. 9 in the accompanying booklet), composer, multi-instrumentalist (like TCP itself), and vocalist, and with theater choreographer and dancer Emma Portner (b. 1994), of Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, © 2019, TT 60:47 (13 trs, all world première recordings, sample titles: "Reach," "Blur," "Coil," "Wane," the CD's title is from tr. 11; #s 3-5, 7, 8, 11, & 13: TCP & DH; #s 1, 2, 6, 9, 10, & 12: TCP); $16.00 from Çedille. Hence, the music, from scores, not improvisations, is a combination of minimalist classical, especially that of Philip Glass (with whom DH performed 4 of his 20 Études at the Kennedy Center in 2018), and very melodic and rhythmic, not over-the-top pop, varied, enjoyable, and enchanting, almost hypnotic. Like CVNC, TCP's broadening its reach out into other performing arts; its booklet involves some more in its creative photography that includes some collage, a graffiti-like title, and doodling or sketching. The notes explain what the vision of the creators was: "We've always felt that the future of classical music depends on deepening the collaborative process and removing the strict barriers between composers and performers. We are so grateful to Dev for choosing to work with us in this way, and always being open to and supportive of the choices we made in arranging his music for our own collection of instruments. Dev gave us a beautiful field to play on, and we think the music that resulted couldn't have been created in any other way." (p. 9)
These are certainly CDs that I cherish having in my collection, and easily deserve being in anyone's. Detailed and informative notes (especially for the backgrounds of the works of Hindemith and Hass, who was gassed in Auschwitz upon arrival by train from Terezin in 1944, because he coughed, thus calling attention to himself), in the booklets of both are by Leon Shernoff, graduate of the Eastman School of Music and California Institute of the Arts, composer and singer in Chicago – including the dates of their composition would have been useful in this date-important text, even though they did not determine the composers' persecution and execution, a curious omission, because he includes them in the earlier CD.
Both of the instruments being accompanied in these four CDs are of the 'double-reed' category, the bassoon being the bass voice, the oboe, the soprano; both have a range of c. three octaves. The oboe is the instrument whose tone is played on A for all other instrumentalists in an orchestra to tune so that they are playing on the same note. They are among the most difficult wind instruments to play; their players also have to make their own reeds (or buy them from someone who does that as a business on the side; I have an acquaintance who does that).
These labels are, in several senses, at opposite ends of the spectrum: a single musician (although most of her recordings are of chamber music involving other musicians and instruments with her, whom she has to gather) and a non-profit corporation, operating in two different nations with two different economics. But both are recording primarily music that the major international corporate recording companies are ignoring; those tend to consistently focus primarily on either new recordings by new musicians of the 'chestnuts' of the repertoire, or brand-new works that aren't yet vetted. These are doing an important, sometimes somewhat infrequently, but irreplaceable positive good, shortcomings in some of their accompanying documentation notwithstanding, by recording fine, important, and beautiful music that you can't find anywhere else, thus enriching the archives of recorded music. Many (all?) of my best (from every perspective: music, performance & performers, programming & presentation, recording quality & documentation), most cherished of my several thousand CDs are on 'indy' labels. I applaud their creators!