Author Topic: Sir Arnold Bax  (Read 105511 times)

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Offline vandermolen

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Re: Sir Arnold Bax
« Reply #760 on: January 10, 2018, 11:48:13 AM »
It is a complete and utter disgrace, one of the things for which classical music must be most shameful, that the concert hall repertoire is so narrow. But as we all know, The Big £/$ rules the world.

I agree.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline cilgwyn

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Re: Sir Arnold Bax
« Reply #761 on: April 09, 2018, 12:32:11 AM »
I listened to Barbirolli conducting Bax's Fourth symphony last night. I put it on a cd-r with his recording of Ireland's The Forgotten Rite and Mai Dun. Barbirolli's Fourth is available as download from the Art Music Forum,and available on Youtube. It made me wish,even more,that he'd recorded more Bax symphonies (and more Bax!). Going by the few Bax recordings he made,and I've heard,he seems the ideal conductor (and for Ireland). The Fourth is often regarded as one of Bax's weakest symphonies,if not the weakest. Yet,it's one of my favourites!

Offline Biffo

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Re: Sir Arnold Bax
« Reply #762 on: April 09, 2018, 01:01:45 AM »
I have Barbirolli conducting Symphony No 3, recorded in 1943/44 with the composer present (Dutton). It is coupled with the Violin Concerto conducted by Boult with Eda Kersey as soloist. Barbirolli also recorded Tintagel and The Garden of Fand - these have appeared with different couplings over the years.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Sir Arnold Bax
« Reply #763 on: April 09, 2018, 08:15:36 AM »
I listened to Barbirolli conducting Bax's Fourth symphony last night. I put it on a cd-r with his recording of Ireland's The Forgotten Rite and Mai Dun. Barbirolli's Fourth is available as download from the Art Music Forum,and available on Youtube. It made me wish,even more,that he'd recorded more Bax symphonies (and more Bax!). Going by the few Bax recordings he made,and I've heard,he seems the ideal conductor (and for Ireland). The Fourth is often regarded as one of Bax's weakest symphonies,if not the weakest. Yet,it's one of my favourites!
How exciting! No.4 is one of my favourites along with 3 and 5 although I like them all. No.6 is sometimes seen as the best of them all but it is possibly my least favourite even though I still like it. I wish that Barbirolli had done a complete VW symphony cycle for EMI as, I think, was originally planned (or maybe it was to be shared with Boult). He was only able to complete Nos. 2 and 5 before he died. I do have him performing Nos. 2,6,7 and 8 (he was the dedicatee) on different labels.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline kyjo

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Re: Sir Arnold Bax
« Reply #764 on: May 14, 2018, 07:04:00 PM »
Recently discovered two of Bax's chamber works that I found to be equal in quality to his best orchestral works (though they are certainly 'lighter' and less 'epic' than, say, his symphonies) - his String Quartet no. 1 and Harp Quintet. The String Quartet no. 1 is a folksy, tuneful, almost Dvorakian work with a heart-rending slow movement, and the Harp Quintet is a magical score filled with Celtic beauty.
"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music" - Sergei Rachmaninoff

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Sir Arnold Bax
« Reply #765 on: May 14, 2018, 10:32:10 PM »
Recently discovered two of Bax's chamber works that I found to be equal in quality to his best orchestral works (though they are certainly 'lighter' and less 'epic' than, say, his symphonies) - his String Quartet no. 1 and Harp Quintet. The String Quartet no. 1 is a folksy, tuneful, almost Dvorakian work with a heart-rending slow movement, and the Harp Quintet is a magical score filled with Celtic beauty.
The Harp Quintet is my favourite of Bax's chamber works with a lovely and haunting tune.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline kyjo

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Re: Sir Arnold Bax
« Reply #766 on: May 15, 2018, 08:48:03 AM »
The Harp Quintet is my favourite of Bax's chamber works with a lovely and haunting tune.

Indeed, that tune, first introduced by the cello, is so gorgeous and memorable.
"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music" - Sergei Rachmaninoff

Offline SymphonicAddict

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Re: Sir Arnold Bax
« Reply #767 on: July 26, 2018, 07:29:23 PM »
As a chamber music addict (besides the symphonic  :D ), today I listened the epic Piano Quintet in G minor:



Written in a symphonic scale, it's full of memorable stuff that blends Impressionism, late-Romanticism and Celtic folk melodies, resulting an absorbing and captivating piece with many riveting moments, both lyrical as stormy ones. I dare to say it's one of the greatest British piano quintets ever penned. The recording makes justice to the work, and it's longer than that of Naxos.

All in all, it was utterly worth listening

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Sir Arnold Bax
« Reply #768 on: July 26, 2018, 10:01:20 PM »
As a chamber music addict (besides the symphonic  :D ), today I listened the epic Piano Quintet in G minor:



Written in a symphonic scale, it's full of memorable stuff that blends Impressionism, late-Romanticism and Celtic folk melodies, resulting an absorbing and captivating piece with many riveting moments, both lyrical as stormy ones. I dare to say it's one of the greatest British piano quintets ever penned. The recording makes justice to the work, and it's longer than that of Naxos.

All in all, it was utterly worth listening

Thanks Cesar - the Harp Quintet is by far my favourite chamber work by Bax. I must have another listen to the Piano Quintet.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline kyjo

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Re: Sir Arnold Bax
« Reply #769 on: July 27, 2018, 06:29:13 AM »
As a chamber music addict (besides the symphonic  :D ), today I listened the epic Piano Quintet in G minor:



Written in a symphonic scale, it's full of memorable stuff that blends Impressionism, late-Romanticism and Celtic folk melodies, resulting an absorbing and captivating piece with many riveting moments, both lyrical as stormy ones. I dare to say it's one of the greatest British piano quintets ever penned. The recording makes justice to the work, and it's longer than that of Naxos.

All in all, it was utterly worth listening

Yes, it’s a great work! Bax’s chamber output contains some real gems, such as this, the Harp Quintet, and the String Quartet no. 1.
"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music" - Sergei Rachmaninoff

Offline SymphonicAddict

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Re: Sir Arnold Bax
« Reply #770 on: July 27, 2018, 01:24:00 PM »
The Harp Quintet is another stunner with lovely Celtic melodies. Bax composed a significant number of chamber works and ones with a peculiar combination. If the others have that great artistic quality, I'll surely find wondrous treasures.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Sir Arnold Bax
« Reply #771 on: July 27, 2018, 02:05:26 PM »
As a chamber music addict (besides the symphonic  :D ), today I listened the epic Piano Quintet in G minor:



Written in a symphonic scale, it's full of memorable stuff that blends Impressionism, late-Romanticism and Celtic folk melodies, resulting an absorbing and captivating piece with many riveting moments, both lyrical as stormy ones. I dare to say it's one of the greatest British piano quintets ever penned. The recording makes justice to the work, and it's longer than that of Naxos.

All in all, it was utterly worth listening
Just ordered this second hand on Amazon. The Gliere was a bit expensive.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline cilgwyn

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Re: Sir Arnold Bax
« Reply #772 on: July 28, 2018, 03:13:04 AM »
Vandermolen always makes me think of this. The second ever,record player I owned,after the Fidelity one (around £!7!) I bought in Woolworths. This was when I was still a youngster. I would have been playing my Chandos Bax Lp's (and the Lyrita Lp of Tintagel,etc) on this. And why the connection? It's a 70's Van Der Molen 10DL. I saved up for this. It had big stereo speakers and my mother bought it from one of those big mail order catalogues,Grattans or Littlewoods. I think the volume control went a bit crackly in the end and the lid got cracked in a tenancy dispute. Not a particularly spectacular piece of hi-fi,I suppose;but it was loud and had a nice thunderous,bass on it! It was,also,a lot of pocket money to a teenager!!

           

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Sir Arnold Bax
« Reply #773 on: July 28, 2018, 03:18:54 PM »
Vandermolen always makes me think of this. The second ever,record player I owned,after the Fidelity one (around £!7!) I bought in Woolworths. This was when I was still a youngster. I would have been playing my Chandos Bax Lp's (and the Lyrita Lp of Tintagel,etc) on this. And why the connection? It's a 70's Van Der Molen 10DL. I saved up for this. It had big stereo speakers and my mother bought it from one of those big mail order catalogues,Grattans or Littlewoods. I think the volume control went a bit crackly in the end and the lid got cracked in a tenancy dispute. Not a particularly spectacular piece of hi-fi,I suppose;but it was loud and had a nice thunderous,bass on it! It was,also,a lot of pocket money to a teenager!!

         

I'm sure that, with that name, it must be a superior product  8)
As for 'Van der Molen' it's my mother's family name. My great grandfather was a Dutchman. It is the same as 'Miller' (from the mill' in English - I think that this is right but no doubt our Dutch friends here will correct me if I'm wrong). I wish that my name was Jeffrey Van der Molen as I think that (in Britain) it would make me sound more aristocratic ( 8)). However, it's not but at least I can use a derivative of it as my GMG name.  That Boult/Bax  LP/CD is excellent and it led to my first encounter with the legendary 'Northern Ballad No.1 which is a very fine.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2018, 03:21:11 PM by vandermolen »
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Sir Arnold Bax
« Reply #774 on: August 05, 2018, 12:54:40 PM »
As a chamber music addict (besides the symphonic  :D ), today I listened the epic Piano Quintet in G minor:



Written in a symphonic scale, it's full of memorable stuff that blends Impressionism, late-Romanticism and Celtic folk melodies, resulting an absorbing and captivating piece with many riveting moments, both lyrical as stormy ones. I dare to say it's one of the greatest British piano quintets ever penned. The recording makes justice to the work, and it's longer than that of Naxos.

All in all, it was utterly worth listening
Thank you Cesar! I couldn't understand where the original recommendation came from. Maybe I should have checked the Bax thread!!! What with your recommendation and Kyle's enthusiastic support I have discovered one of Bax's greatest works. Now the Harp Quintet is my second favourite chamber work by Bax. The Piano Quintet is an epic masterpiece. Thanks again  :)
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline SymphonicAddict

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Re: Sir Arnold Bax
« Reply #775 on: August 05, 2018, 01:15:17 PM »
Thank you Cesar! I couldn't understand where the original recommendation came from. Maybe I should have checked the Bax thread!!! What with your recommendation and Kyle's enthusiastic support I have discovered one of Bax's greatest works. Now the Harp Quintet is my second favourite chamber work by Bax. The Piano Quintet is an epic masterpiece. Thanks again  :)

You are very welcome. Yes, it is a work of symphonic proportions indeed. At first I considered the Harp Quintet like his best chamber work, but now knowing this stunning work, the former comes in 2nd place, though is very eloquent and Celtic as well.

Offline Roasted Swan

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Re: Sir Arnold Bax
« Reply #776 on: August 05, 2018, 01:26:00 PM »
I agree that the Bax Piano Quintet is one of his very finest works regardless of genre.  My only thought is that I find the Naxos/Ashley Wass/Maggini version to be significantly superior to the Chandos disc.  The short life of the Mistry Quartet was always slightly puzzling.........   The Naxos coupling of the equally fine Bridge Quintet is just as good as both as music and performance

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Sir Arnold Bax
« Reply #777 on: August 05, 2018, 02:34:07 PM »
I agree that the Bax Piano Quintet is one of his very finest works regardless of genre.  My only thought is that I find the Naxos/Ashley Wass/Maggini version to be significantly superior to the Chandos disc.  The short life of the Mistry Quartet was always slightly puzzling.........   The Naxos coupling of the equally fine Bridge Quintet is just as good as both as music and performance

Thanks. Amazon informs me that I have a copy of that disc so will certainly be looking it out.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Sir Arnold Bax
« Reply #778 on: August 09, 2018, 12:28:36 AM »
As a chamber music addict (besides the symphonic  :D ), today I listened the epic Piano Quintet in G minor:



Written in a symphonic scale, it's full of memorable stuff that blends Impressionism, late-Romanticism and Celtic folk melodies, resulting an absorbing and captivating piece with many riveting moments, both lyrical as stormy ones. I dare to say it's one of the greatest British piano quintets ever penned. The recording makes justice to the work, and it's longer than that of Naxos.

All in all, it was utterly worth listening

Cesar and Kyle, I can't tell you how much I have enjoyed discovering this Piano Quintet - what an epic. I would say that it is actually one of my favourite works by Bax and ranks, in my view, with those by Shostakovich, Bloch, Weinberg and Schnittke although obviously a very different kind of work. I have been listening to it continuously since I obtained the Chandos recording (I must hear the Ashley Wass version on Naxos as well). Maybe circumstances have something to do with it as a very good friend from my college days is terminally ill and I don't want to listen to orchestral music so much these days (notwithstanding Simpson's 9th Symphony) - don't know why. Sibelius is about the only composer whose music I can usually listen to regardless as to how I am feeling - something to do with its connection with nature perhaps. However I have found much comfort listening to this poetic, legendary and soulful work by Bax. Probably too much information - but why not? Anyway thank you.
 :)
« Last Edit: August 09, 2018, 12:41:45 AM by vandermolen »
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline kyjo

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Re: Sir Arnold Bax
« Reply #779 on: August 09, 2018, 05:29:13 AM »
Cesar and Kyle, I can't tell you how much I have enjoyed discovering this Piano Quintet - what an epic. I would say that it is actually one of my favourite works by Bax and ranks, in my view, with those by Shostakovich, Bloch, Weinberg and Schnittke although obviously a very different kind of work. I have been listening to it continuously since I obtained the Chandos recording (I must hear the Ashley Wass version on Naxos as well). Maybe circumstances have something to do with it as a very good friend from my college days is terminally ill and I don't want to listen to orchestral music so much these days (notwithstanding Simpson's 9th Symphony) - don't know why. Sibelius is about the only composer whose music I can usually listen to regardless as to how I am feeling - something to do with its connection with nature perhaps. However I have found much comfort listening to this poetic, legendary and soulful work by Bax. Probably too much information - but why not? Anyway thank you.
 :)

Sorry to hear about your friend, Jeffrey. What better way to find solace than in the warmth and intimacy of chamber music. I agree, Bax’s Piano Quintet belongs in the ranks of similarly epic and poetic works in the medium by Bartók, Brahms, Bloch (no. 1), Franck, Ornstein, Shostakovich, Taneyev, Vierne, and Weinberg.
"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music" - Sergei Rachmaninoff

 

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