Author Topic: Sir Arnold Bax  (Read 114485 times)

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Offline vandermolen

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Re: Sir Arnold Bax
« Reply #840 on: March 06, 2019, 06:00:33 AM »
I really liked 'Tintagel' in this recording:
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Offline kyjo

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Re: Sir Arnold Bax
« Reply #841 on: March 12, 2019, 11:33:08 AM »
OT

Kyle might mean this early work by VW (withdrawn?) which has been a lovely recent discovery:


Yep, that’s what I meant. :)
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Offline vandermolen

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Re: Sir Arnold Bax
« Reply #842 on: March 12, 2019, 10:16:39 PM »
Yep, that’s what I meant. :)

Thought so. It's a lovely work.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline Irons

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Re: Sir Arnold Bax
« Reply #843 on: March 13, 2019, 01:11:26 AM »
I really liked 'Tintagel' in this recording:


Agreed. Recordings have been kind to "Tintagel". Have you visited the place? Teeming with tourists - I think they should be made to prove their Bax credentials before being allowed in! ;)

Something else that attracts me to the Weldon recording is that he includes the "Wasps" suite not just the Overture.
So, no applause, please. Never applaud political slogans. Only applaud in a concert hall - and only if you like the performance. (Rostislav Dubinsky)

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Sir Arnold Bax
« Reply #844 on: March 13, 2019, 01:48:06 AM »
Agreed. Recordings have been kind to "Tintagel". Have you visited the place? Teeming with tourists - I think they should be made to prove their Bax credentials before being allowed in! ;)

Something else that attracts me to the Weldon recording is that he includes the "Wasps" suite not just the Overture.

Yes, decades ago when it was really atmospheric and then a few years ago when it was a tourist nightmare. I agree that anyone not familiar with Bax's music should be physically ejected from the place.
 8)

I'm not a great fan of the Wasps but enjoy the suite more than the ubiquitous Overture. On the CD I prefer Holst's Perfect Fool music with its magical and poetic qualities.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2019, 01:51:31 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 #845 on: March 13, 2019, 07:43:28 AM »
This Bax thread now runs to 43 pages, but I don’t see much mention of one of my new favorite works of his, the tone poem In memoriam, written in response to the Irish Easter Uprising (not to be confused with his chamber work of the same name). It’s a predominantly gentle, reflective work which rises to some stirring climaxes along the way. Very touching and direct music. It can be found on a Hallé CD titled “For the Fallen” with Sir Mark Elder conducting and on a Chandos CD with Vernon Handley conducting.

https://youtu.be/zznTaL61lBo
"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 #846 on: March 13, 2019, 10:41:17 AM »
This Bax thread now runs to 43 pages, but I don’t see much mention of one of my new favorite works of his, the tone poem In memoriam, written in response to the Irish Easter Uprising (not to be confused with his chamber work of the same name). It’s a predominantly gentle, reflective work which rises to some stirring climaxes along the way. Very touching and direct music. It can be found on a Hallé CD titled “For the Fallen” with Sir Mark Elder conducting and on a Chandos CD with Vernon Handley conducting.

https://youtu.be/zznTaL61lBo

Thanks for alerting us to this little-known work Kyle. I've hardly ever listened to it so I fished out my Chandos CD and enjoyed it much more than I expected to. It starts off just like 'The Garden of Fand' which is not one of my favourite works by Bax and incorporates a tune from his later film score for 'Oliver Twist' which I found rather sentimental, although overall 'In Memoriam' made a very positive impression on me and I want to hear it again:


« Last Edit: March 13, 2019, 10:45:02 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 #847 on: March 15, 2019, 01:38:40 PM »
Thanks for alerting us to this little-known work Kyle. I've hardly ever listened to it so I fished out my Chandos CD and enjoyed it much more than I expected to. It starts off just like 'The Garden of Fand' which is not one of my favourite works by Bax and incorporates a tune from his later film score for 'Oliver Twist' which I found rather sentimental, although overall 'In Memoriam' made a very positive impression on me and I want to hear it again:


Glad you enjoyed it, Jeffrey. My one friend recently discovered it as well and now believes it to be Bax’s finest work!
"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 #848 on: March 15, 2019, 02:42:29 PM »
Glad you enjoyed it, Jeffrey. My one friend recently discovered it as well and now believes it to be Bax’s finest work!
Interesting Kyle.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline Alek Hidell

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Re: Sir Arnold Bax
« Reply #849 on: March 15, 2019, 08:08:40 PM »


Just finished a (first) listen to this set a few days ago. I still feel like such a neophyte in classical music, and there are idioms in it that are taking me a long time to "get." This is one of them. Don't get me wrong: I found much to enjoy in this set, including the fine interview with Handley that concludes it. He was certainly enthusiastic about Bax's music, and he prompted me to relisten to the 3rd and 6th symphonies (he considered the 6th Bax's masterpiece). But a lot of what's here went in one ear and out the other.

So here's another in a long line of discs, or sets of discs, that will require more listens for me. Handley also recorded many (all?) of the tone poems - I wish a few more of them were included here (the only non-symphonies are the Rogue's Comedy Overture and Tintagel).
"When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why they are poor, they call me a communist." - Hélder Pessoa Câmara

Offline Daverz

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Re: Sir Arnold Bax
« Reply #850 on: March 15, 2019, 08:40:41 PM »


Just finished a (first) listen to this set a few days ago. I still feel like such a neophyte in classical music, and there are idioms in it that are taking me a long time to "get."

The Bax symphonies a pretty tough nut, but they may grow on you, like stinky cheese or bitter beer.  The best place to start with Bax is the tone poems, e.g. Garden of Fand and November Woods.






Offline SymphonicAddict

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Re: Sir Arnold Bax
« Reply #851 on: March 15, 2019, 09:42:28 PM »


Just finished a (first) listen to this set a few days ago. I still feel like such a neophyte in classical music, and there are idioms in it that are taking me a long time to "get." This is one of them. Don't get me wrong: I found much to enjoy in this set, including the fine interview with Handley that concludes it. He was certainly enthusiastic about Bax's music, and he prompted me to relisten to the 3rd and 6th symphonies (he considered the 6th Bax's masterpiece). But a lot of what's here went in one ear and out the other.

So here's another in a long line of discs, or sets of discs, that will require more listens for me. Handley also recorded many (all?) of the tone poems - I wish a few more of them were included here (the only non-symphonies are the Rogue's Comedy Overture and Tintagel).

I understand you, and it's nice to see more people exploring this fascinating composer. I felt almost the same than you: much of the music seemed not to make sense at first, but some time later the enjoyment came more easily.

As Daverz suggested, those tone poems are a good introduction to his orchestral music other than the symphonies. I would also recommend the Chandos series (see picture below, it's one of the those CDs), which offers practically all of them, including ballets:


Offline vandermolen

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Re: Sir Arnold Bax
« Reply #852 on: March 16, 2019, 02:55:37 AM »
Possibly my favourite Bax disc and a great introduction to his music:
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline Roasted Swan

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Re: Sir Arnold Bax
« Reply #853 on: March 16, 2019, 10:56:56 AM »
As Daverz suggested, those tone poems are a good introduction to his orchestral music other than the symphonies. I would also recommend the Chandos series (see picture below, it's one of the those CDs), which offers practically all of them, including ballets:



I would second this recommendation - this disc contains all three of the most famous tone poems in excellent performances and sonics.  Available at cheap marketplace prices too.....

Offline Alek Hidell

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Re: Sir Arnold Bax
« Reply #854 on: March 16, 2019, 11:46:35 AM »
Thanks to all. I have heard one or two of the tone poems (though I can't say for sure what they were :-[) and liked them - which was one reason I gave the symphonies a go. The other reason was that Google Music offers a download of the symphonies set for $10. :D

(They also offer multiple volumes of 'The Complete Bach Symphonies' ...  ??? :laugh:)
"When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why they are poor, they call me a communist." - Hélder Pessoa Câmara

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Sir Arnold Bax
« Reply #855 on: March 16, 2019, 10:48:03 PM »
Thanks to all. I have heard one or two of the tone poems (though I can't say for sure what they were :-[) and liked them - which was one reason I gave the symphonies a go. The other reason was that Google Music offers a download of the symphonies set for $10. :D

(They also offer multiple volumes of 'The Complete Bach Symphonies' ...  ??? :laugh:)

When I was in the USSR in 1985 I went into a record shop ( they existed in those days!) called 'Melodiya' on Nevsky Prospect in Leningrad (as it then was). Although the proprietor looked at me like I was nuts when I asked if they had any music by Miaskovsky ( eventually I found a couple of string quartets on LP) I was impressed that they had so many LPs devoted to the music of Sir Arnold - until I realised that 'Bax' was the Russian for 'Bach'  ::).
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline cilgwyn

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Re: Sir Arnold Bax
« Reply #856 on: March 20, 2019, 03:14:45 AM »
I played the Fourth a few days ago. I turned it off last time (about a week,or,two,ago). This time I enjoyed it. It is a little uneven,I suppose;but I still prefer it to the Sixth,and,the third. It has some bracing "sea music" which I do like. That's if I stick around long enough!! ;D I seem to have read that some critics feel that Thomson's recordings of Bax,with the Ulster orchestra,were more favourably received by some critics?!
The recording I DO like of the third,is the one by Barbirolli. If I want to listen to the third,and enjoy it,that's my first port off call. Incidentally,I got the Downes recording of the third off one of those vinyl blogs of old,out of print,Lp's. The sound is pretty good;but you can tell it's off an Lp;and there's some noise on one track. It's probably still up there,somewhere?
I like Downes recordings of Bax,on the Carlton cd. I also like his recording of Bantock's Pagan symphony. The bit with all the percussion (Dance of the Satyrs) is very different,in his performance. I thought it was a bit wierd sounding at first. Now,I've got used to it,I've grown to like it. The Downes is now my favourite recording. And I think the Bax pieces and Pagan symphony go so well together. I missed this recording when it was broadcast. I remember taping his performance of Boughton's,lovely (imo) "Deidre" Symphony. As soon as I saw the cd I had to buy it. His performance of the third is my favourite;despite the superior sound quality of the Hyperion cd. I like some of Boughton's music,incidentally. Like Schreker,I can't help wishing he'd composed more music for orchestra,instead of (believe it,or not,vandermolen!) operas,or music-dramas! His First symphony is a bit of a yawn,admittedly. But it was an early effort.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Sir Arnold Bax
« Reply #857 on: March 20, 2019, 11:34:56 PM »
I played the Fourth a few days ago. I turned it off last time (about a week,or,two,ago). This time I enjoyed it. It is a little uneven,I suppose;but I still prefer it to the Sixth,and,the third. It has some bracing "sea music" which I do like. That's if I stick around long enough!! ;D I seem to have read that some critics feel that Thomson's recordings of Bax,with the Ulster orchestra,were more favourably received by some critics?!
The recording I DO like of the third,is the one by Barbirolli. If I want to listen to the third,and enjoy it,that's my first port off call. Incidentally,I got the Downes recording of the third off one of those vinyl blogs of old,out of print,Lp's. The sound is pretty good;but you can tell it's off an Lp;and there's some noise on one track. It's probably still up there,somewhere?
I like Downes recordings of Bax,on the Carlton cd. I also like his recording of Bantock's Pagan symphony. The bit with all the percussion (Dance of the Satyrs) is very different,in his performance. I thought it was a bit wierd sounding at first. Now,I've got used to it,I've grown to like it. The Downes is now my favourite recording. And I think the Bax pieces and Pagan symphony go so well together. I missed this recording when it was broadcast. I remember taping his performance of Boughton's,lovely (imo) "Deidre" Symphony. As soon as I saw the cd I had to buy it. His performance of the third is my favourite;despite the superior sound quality of the Hyperion cd. I like some of Boughton's music,incidentally. Like Schreker,I can't help wishing he'd composed more music for orchestra,instead of (believe it,or not,vandermolen!) operas,or music-dramas! His First symphony is a bit of a yawn,admittedly. But it was an early effort.
V much agree with you cilgwyn about Boughton although I really like 'The Immortal Hour'. His Oboe Concerto (written for his daughter I think) which is very nice. I didn't like the 'Cromwell Symphony' nearly as much as the moving Symphony 3 by Bainton on the same Dutton CD.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

 

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