I would not wish to limit appreciation to those who already have the Baxian bug, for I cannot imagine a music lover drawn to Debussy, Ravel, Scriabin, Sibelius and maybe Wagner not responding enthusiastically to the musical wonders here. By 1955 Bax on record was so scarce that listed only Tintagel, the Coronation March, the unaccompanied choral work What is it Like to be Young and Fair? Although not written to commission, he had composed it with the violin virtuoso in mind. His affair with Cohen ripened into warm friendship and continuing musical partnership. A Catalogue of the Works of Sir Arnold Bax. In 1992 made a television film dramatising Bax's later years, The Secret Life of Arnold Bax. Bax also discovered and privately studied the works of , whose music, like that of Strauss, was frowned on by the largely conservative faculty of the Academy.
Evocative of the wild landscapes in Norway and the West of Scotland, The Tale the Pine Trees Knew culminates in a magical evocation of Celtic mists. Parry to Finzi: Twenty English Song-composers. Two Centuries of British Symphonism. The was completed in 1929 and, championed by Wood, remained for some time among the composer's most popular works. Bax's Symphonic Variations for Piano and Orchestra 1917 is seen by the as the turning-point from the Celtic to the Nordic in Bax's oeuvre; Herbage views it as a further indication of the shift that Winter Legends, composed thirteen years later, has a Nordic rather than a Celtic setting. With he recorded his own Viola Sonata for , and with May Harrison he recorded 's Violin Sonata No 1 for the rival label.
A heart complaint, from which he suffered intermittently throughout his life, made him unfit for military service; he acted as a for a period. Handley agreed that the first three could be grouped together; Foreman sees a Celtic influence in all three, with Bax's emotions about the Easter rising and its aftermath discernible. Quite a variety and way better than the awful sounding cds issued earlier. In 1908 he began a of tone poems called Eire I. Bax's last concertante piece was a short work for piano and orchestra 1947 written in his capacity as Master of the King's Music, marking 's twenty-first birthday. In fact they have considerable strength and frequent astringence; and formally the thematic material is presented with consistency and purpose.
The Penguin Guide to Recorded Classical Music 2009. The four-movement work, more conventional in structure than his completed symphonies, shows a strong Russian influence in its material. Arnold Bax composed several symphonic poems during the second and third decades of the 20th century, when he was at the peak of his creative powers. The first of these pieces, Into the Twilight, was premiered by and the New Symphony Orchestra in April 1909, and the following year, at Elgar's instigation, commissioned the second in the cycle,. Among his better-known works from the period are the orchestral 1916 and 1917—19.
During the 1920s and into the 1930s Bax was seen by many as the leading British symphonist. The Phantasy Sonata for Viola and Harp, the Sonata for Two Pianos and a handful of the songs were recorded on discs. Bax's centenary in 1983 was marked by twenty programmes on , covering a wide range of the composer's music. The first was for a short wartime propaganda film, Malta, G. By the 1930s Bax's music ceased to be regarded as new and difficult, and towards the end of that decade it was attracting less attention than before. That finds its way into a person's psyche and personality and into his technique as a musician. The composer and musical scholar writes that Bax was unusual among British composers in composing a substantial oeuvre for solo piano.
The orchestral piece that was neglected longest was In memoriam 1917 , a lament for , who was shot for his part in the Easter rising; the work was not played until 1998. Bax wrote a substantial number of choral works, mostly secular but some religious. Elsita Bax refused her husband a divorce, and remained his wife until her death in 1947. The Viola Sonata, Nonet and Mater ora Filium were recorded under the auspices of the English Music Society in 1937 and 1938. Yet there is no mistaking the Bax physiognomy or psychology: always through the gloom and thickets of the symphonies the warm rays of an approachable, lovable man and nature may be felt.
The excellent Chandos series pairing the former continues with seven richly nuanced, nimbly danced and sensitively phrased performances of tone poems composed just before, and orchestrated most just after the First World War. Music and Men, the Life and Loves of Harriet Cohen. The work received mixed notices. Foreman points to many subtleties of scoring, but notes that it has never ranked high among the composer's mature works. Bax's third and last cinema score was for a ten-minute short film Journey into History in 1952.
Ireland and the Great War. The English Musical Renaissance, 1840—1940: Constructing a National Music. I began to write Irishly, using figures and melodies of a definitely Celtic curve. Bax wrote his seven completed symphonies between 1921 and 1939. In 1985 the Sir Arnold Bax Trust was established to promote the composer's work including the sponsoring of live performances and recording and publication of his music and writings. In the 1930s, Bax composed the last four of his seven symphonies. Bax's private means enabled him to travel to the in 1910.
The Fourth is generally regarded as a more optimistic work than its predecessors and successors. Constant Lambert: Beyond the Rio Grande. Between 1910 and 1920 Bax wrote a large amount of music, including the symphonic poem , his best-known work. Bax's chamber music is well represented on disc, with recordings of most of the works, and multiple versions of many, including the Elegiac Trio, the Clarinet Sonata and the Fantasy Sonata. The disc begins with Tintagel, Bax's depiction of the rocky precipice on the Cornish coast reputed to be the birthplace of the legendary King Arthur.