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Arnold Bax: Winter Legends

Album Summary

>Bax, Arnold [Composer] : Winter Legends, sinfonia concertante for piano & orchestra
>Bax, Arnold [Composer] : Morning Song (Maytime in Sussex), symphonic variations for piano & orchestra in E major
>Bax, Arnold [Composer] : Saga Fragment, for trumpet, strings, piano & percussion (arr. of Quartet for Piano & Strings)
Performer Conductor Ensemble
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Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Arnold Bax was a major force in British composition between the two world wars. The three works on this disc were composed for renowned pianist Hilary Cohen. Bax described Winter Legends as "a northern nature piece full of sea and pine forest and dark legends." Subtitled "Maytime in Sussex," Morning Song celebrated the 21st birthday of the then Princess Elizabeth. In contrast, martial overtones give Saga Fragment, the composer's own orchestration of his Piano Quartet, a darker hue.

"Ashley Wass and James Judd turn in a finely wrought and atmospheric performance of Bax's Winter Legends--a piano concerto in all but name. A Bax specialist, Wass highlights the alternating delicacy and bravura of the composer's piano writing (especially in the alluring solo that opens the Molto moderato third movement), while Judd is equally adept at the orchestral accompaniment, drawing rich, colorful playing from the Bournemouth Symphony... Naxos' recording captures the full range of the music (it's pretty wide), yet maintains clarity even in the tutti passages. Bax fans will find much to enjoy in this release. " -Classics Today (10/10)

American Record Guide
... Naxos's sound is closer to the listener, more solid, articulated, and powerful, and more detailed than the distant and blended Chandos acoustic.

Fanfare
All that said, this is a fine release, meeting in the greater degree the high expectations, especially in the playing - sensitive and dramatic - of Wass. The Bournemouth musicians are superb, and the solo violinist and trumpeter worthy of note. The sound of this recording, made in The Lighthouse, Poole, is clear and full, with solid bass that brings out Bax's use of lower instruments to create his ominous undercurrents. The Lighthouse is reputed to be a difficult venue, but one could not tell from this recording. Sound is the one aspect in which the new release is clearly preferable to the Chandos...

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Lighthouse, Poole Center for the Arts, England (06/21/2010-06/22/2010).



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Works Details

>Bax, Arnold [Composer] : Winter Legends, sinfonia concertante for piano & orchestra
  • Performer: Ashley Wass (Piano)
  • Conductor: James Judd
  • Notes: Lighthouse, Poole Center for the Arts, England (06/21/2010-06/22/2010)
  • Running Time: 38 min. 28 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: 1930

>Bax, Arnold [Composer] : Morning Song (Maytime in Sussex), symphonic variations for piano & orchestra in E major
  • Performer: Ashley Wass (Piano)
  • Conductor: James Judd
  • Notes: Lighthouse, Poole Center for the Arts, England (06/21/2010-06/22/2010)
  • Running Time: 7 min. 7 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1946

>Bax, Arnold [Composer] : Saga Fragment, for trumpet, strings, piano & percussion (arr. of Quartet for Piano & Strings)
  • Performer: Ashley Wass (Piano)
  • Conductor: James Judd
  • Notes: Lighthouse, Poole Center for the Arts, England (06/21/2010-06/22/2010)
  • Running Time: 10 min. 32 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: 1932