MUSICAL HERITAGE SOCIETY's licensing arrangement with Ensayo of Barcelona has acconted for some of the most appealing items in its vast mail-order catalogue, and this newest one is well up to the standard set by its predecessors. Marco Scano (whose name is printed erroneously as "Mario") actually performed in Washington in the fall the of 1976, but, understandably enough, went unnoticed as a member of LaScala's orchestra. The superb - and uncut - performance of the Tchaikovsky Trio he and Victor Martin recorded with pianist Jorge Bolet (MHS 1643) had not gone unnoticed, and neither had Martin's brilliant presentation of Sarasate's Spanish Dances with painist Miguel Zanetti (MHS 1646); collectors familiar with those discs will be prepared for a high level of musicianship in the Kodaly works, and will not be disappointed. The performances are compelling, the sound is first rate, and at the MHS price the release is a genuine bargain. This should remain the most attractive way to acquire these works until Vox offers its Laszlo Varga performances on a single LP, or someone gets round to recording Mihaly Virizlay in the Cello Sonata.

A few months before La Scala's visit to the Kennedy Center, John Lanchbery was there conducting the Australian Ballet production of The Merry Widow, whose socre he arranged himself from material in the Lehar operetta. His recordings, including the one of excerpts from that ballet, have been on the whole rather disappointing, but this Satie collection is very much a winner. Monotones is a brief ballet sequence comprising the Prelude d'Eginhard, the three Gnossiernnes and the three Gymnopedies; the first four pieces are in Lanchbery's own orchestations, the first and third Gymnopedies of course in Debussy's, and the second in a transcription by Roland-Manuel. All the remaining items are also transcribed from the piano originals - Jack-in-the-Box by Milhaud, the Trois Morceaux by Roger Desormiere, and the two preludes by Francis Poulenc. Most of this material is in Maurice Abravanel's two-disc Vanguard set (VCS-10037/38), which is valuable because of its documentation as well as for the actual performances. But neither the playing nor the record sound from Salt Lake City is quite a match for what Lanchbery and Angel offer here, and no less an authority on French music than James Harding has contributed the annotation. (The Three

It was not too long ago that London reissued, in the same "Stereo Treasury" series, the 1961 recording of the Haffner Serenade under Karl Munchinger, in which Willi Boskovsky, as concert master of the Vienna Philharmonic, played the miniature violin concerto embedded in the work and gave the most enchanting performance of the famous Rondo yet recorded (STS-15375). Now, as conductor himself of the same hand picked-picked group with which he recorded all of Mozart's dance music, Boskovsky presides over a similarly attractive performance, with Alfred Staar doing the solo honors hardly less fetchingly. The 1972 sound is, expectedly, a little brighter than the earlier Viennese recording, but the most intriguing difference is the unmentioned inclusion of both the timpani part Mozart added when he adapted parts of this serenade for use as a symphony, and his revised scoring, for the same purpose, of the second of the three minuets. The new disc represents London's best luck to date with domestic pressings; the Munchinger is pressed in England and carries its year well. Either is an excellent buy and, to my ear, superior to any of the full-price versions available now.