Author Topic: Sir Arnold Bax  (Read 105307 times)

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tjguitar

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Sir Arnold Bax
« on: April 15, 2007, 05:12:44 PM »
Bax needs a thread on the new forums...here are some of my favorite Bax CDs, clearly I'm a fan of the "ORCHESTRAL WORKS" series on Chandos :):







I also have the two CD's of string quartets on Naxos but apparently amazon doesn't have fullsize images of those. I'm hoping for a Chandos re-issue of the Piano Quintet, or a naxos recording, I currently have a live recording of the piece that was sent to me from a member from the Bax mailing list, which is quite good. It's one of my favorite chamber pieces which unfortunately is well out of print.

By the way, there are some upcoming Bax CD's from Lyrita: In May SRCD.233 which will contain Symphonies 2 & 5; In June SRCD.296 which will contain the Overtures 'To Adventure', 'Rogues Comedy' and 'Work In Progress', Irish Landscape and Symphony No. 6. 


Chandos also has a 2nd disc of Handley conducted Tone Poems recorded last december but it is not scheduled for release yet, probably in '08

Harry

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Re: Sir Arnold Bax
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2007, 09:52:52 PM »
The Chandos line up is marvelous and almost all I have.
Also Naxos has a impressive catalogue already, with fine recordings of the chambermusic, that are quickly making a name in the business as excellent examples of Bax genius. So worth while to check that out. At least I bought all the chamber music, and can confirm their excellence.

Online vandermolen

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Re: Sir Arnold Bax
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2007, 01:49:19 AM »
The Chandos CD with "Christmas Eve", "Nympholept" (better than the Naxos version), "Paen" etc on is my favourite Bax CD.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

tjguitar

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Re: Sir Arnold Bax
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2007, 08:18:23 PM »
Quote
By the way, there are some upcoming Bax CD's from Lyrita: In May SRCD.233 which will contain Symphonies 2 & 5; In June SRCD.296 which will contain the Overtures 'To Adventure', 'Rogues Comedy' and 'Work In Progress', Irish Landscape and Symphony No. 6.

In case some of you were interested, I emailed Lyrita last week and they told me the following:


Dear Sir,

The release schedule has shuffled a bit - SRCD.296 is still planned
for June this year, SRCD.233 has now moved to January next year.

I hope that helps.

Regards,

Caractacus Downes
webmaster

Don

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Re: Sir Arnold Bax
« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2007, 09:29:16 PM »
Thank goodness for Lyrita, Naxos and Chandos; Bax would just be a blip on the screen without them.

It does make me wonder why the so-called majors have never invested much in Bax.  After all, they've put out a ton of mind-numbing Vivaldi.

Online vandermolen

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Re: Sir Arnold Bax
« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2007, 11:11:38 PM »
I have just ordered Eugene Goosens conducting Bax Symphony 2 on Dutton (1950s recording) which sounds like a very exciting release (with Tintagel etc)

http://www.duttonvocalion.co.uk/proddetail.asp?prod=CDBP9779

I wish that RCA would issued Edward Downes's excellent LSO performance of Symphony 3 on CD (unlikely I think as RCA have cut right back on classical issues).This was my introduction to Bax when Lancaster University had the LP in their library in the 1970s. I spent most of my time in the library listening to it!
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Lilas Pastia

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Re: Sir Arnold Bax
« Reply #6 on: May 06, 2007, 02:40:56 PM »
Any thoughts on his piano sonatas? There's a Naxos disc with 1 and 2 and another one with 3 and 4 (don't know how many he wrote). I seem to recall a very favourable review.

Bax certainly deserves more concert hall exposure. His symphonies and tone poems could certainly replace many Strauss, Tchaikovsky, Ravel or Debussy works. Who needs to hear Bolero, Romeo and Juliet or Death and Transfiguration for the 4th or 8th time in concert?

I have the Naxos and Thomson cycles, as well as half a dozen discs from the Chandos orchestral series. I didn't realize there were so many of them :o
« Last Edit: May 06, 2007, 02:45:24 PM by Lilas Pastia »

tjguitar

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Re: Sir Arnold Bax
« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2007, 02:55:58 PM »
Quote
Any thoughts on his piano sonatas?

I have the Chandos 4 disk set pictured in post #1, but it is not my favorite recording for the sonatas (but many of the shorter pieces are fine.)


For the sonatas, I have the following disc which is quite good in my opinion:



from http://www.amazon.com/Arnold-Bax-Complete-Piano-Sonatas/dp/B000FIMICK


I haven't heard the Wass piano sonatas on Naxos.

Lilas Pastia

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Re: Sir Arnold Bax
« Reply #8 on: May 06, 2007, 04:22:39 PM »
Thanks. I have Endres in Schubert, and I like him a lot. Being good at Schubert is not necessarily a recommendation for Bax, but I'll take your advice!

Offline rubio

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Re: Sir Arnold Bax
« Reply #9 on: May 13, 2007, 06:33:50 AM »
Does anyone have a suggestion for which symphony I should sample first of Bax? I see that they have the complete set of Bryden Thomsen's recordings at my local library.
“One good thing about music, when it hits- you feel no pain” Bob Marley

Harry

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Re: Sir Arnold Bax
« Reply #10 on: May 13, 2007, 06:42:56 AM »
Does anyone have a suggestion for which symphony I should sample first of Bax? I see that they have the complete set of Bryden Thomsen's recordings at my local library.

In my view you can start with any of them.
Tone poems like Tintagel are also a good way into Bax.

Offline SonicMan46

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Re: Sir Arnold Bax
« Reply #11 on: May 13, 2007, 07:03:07 AM »
In my view you can start with any of them.
Tone poems like Tintagel are also a good way into Bax.

Rubio - I'd agree w/ Harry - really not a 'dud' in Bax's Symphonies - I have the box set below w/ Handley (good value on the Amazon Marketplace for the 5 CDs!)  CLICK on the image for a couple of 'erudite' reviews, somewhat unusal from the Amazonians - but certainly start w/ what you can hear first to determine if you like Bax (I'm sure you will not be disappointed).

And for those interested in earlier 20th century English music of Bax's era, try this THREAD in the old forum -  :D


Don

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Re: Sir Arnold Bax
« Reply #12 on: May 13, 2007, 11:02:37 AM »
Does anyone have a suggestion for which symphony I should sample first of Bax? I see that they have the complete set of Bryden Thomsen's recordings at my local library.

I always think it's best to approach a cycle of works chronologically.

Online vandermolen

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Re: Sir Arnold Bax
« Reply #13 on: May 13, 2007, 12:05:15 PM »
I strongly recommend the new Dutton release of Goosens conducting Bax Symphony 2 etc. Despite the age of the recording (1956 BBC broadcast), the performance makes a greater impact, IMHO,than any of the more recent recordings; a magnificent issue and very cheap too (for details see my post above.)

As for investigating Bax symphonies, I agree that they are all good but would probably start with nos 3,5 and 2.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

tjguitar

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Re: Sir Arnold Bax
« Reply #14 on: May 13, 2007, 12:23:35 PM »
As far as the Thomson recordings go, I've only heard the 4th (with the Ulster Orchestra), I'm waiting for chandos to reissue those midprice, but I've heard the London Philharmonic recordings aren't that good from some people, but some people prefer them.

I'm happy with the Handley for now.

johnQpublic

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Re: Sir Arnold Bax
« Reply #15 on: May 13, 2007, 01:10:09 PM »
Does anyone have a suggestion for which symphony I should sample first of Bax? 

#6

btpaul674

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Re: Sir Arnold Bax
« Reply #16 on: May 13, 2007, 09:28:43 PM »
Agreed on 6.

Or 1.

Offline Daverz

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Re: Sir Arnold Bax
« Reply #17 on: May 13, 2007, 10:23:52 PM »
Agreed on 6.

Thirded.  Lloyd-Jones is excellent here, some of the best sound in that Naxos series.

Online vandermolen

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Re: Sir Arnold Bax
« Reply #18 on: May 13, 2007, 11:32:23 PM »
#6

Norman Del Mar's highly rated Lyrita recording of Symphony 6 is out soon.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline sound67

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Re: Sir Arnold Bax
« Reply #19 on: May 13, 2007, 11:35:34 PM »
Again, Handley is the first choice if you need a complete set.


Also: http://www.musicweb.uk.net/bax/manchester.htm
and: http://www.musicweb.uk.net/bax/adamshandley.htm

I agree that No.6 and No.1 are the works you should select "for starters", they are Bax's most powerful and approachable larger works.

Bax's music is opulent and difficult to capture properly on recordings. Both Chandos sets (Thomson, Handley) I think do the job, the Naxos does not. I am not a fan of Lloyd-Jones's lean approach to this overripe music, Thomson does well to revel in this composer's excesses. His 6th IMHO is the best available, because(!) it's on the bottom-heavy side.

Thomas
« Last Edit: May 13, 2007, 11:43:22 PM by sound67 »
"Vivaldi didn't compose 500 concertos. He composed the same concerto 500 times" - Igor Stravinsky

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