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BAX, A.: Winter Legends / Morning Song / Saga Fragment (Wass, Bournemouth Symphony, Judd)

Composer(s):Bax, Arnold
Artist(s) Judd, James, Conductor • Bournemouth Symphony OrchestraWass, Ashley, piano
Period(s) 20th Century
Genre Classical Music
Category ConcertosOrchestral
Catalogue 8.572597
Label Naxos
Quality   320kbps
Download and Stream

Arnold Bax was one of the major forces in British composition between the two world wars, his music blending broad melodies and brilliant orchestral sonorities into a lush Romantic sound world. The three works on this disc were composed for the 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 the Saga Fragment, the composer’s own orchestration of his Piano Quartet of 1922, a darker hue.


Review By Claire Vaquero Williams,Scherzo,September 2011


Review By Victor Carr Jr,,August 2011

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. This recording supplants the previous version by Margaret Fingerhut and Bryden Thompson, as Thompson is not as free with the music as Judd, and Chandos’ over-reverberant recording makes Bax’s already swimmingly chromatic music sound even more so.


Review By Jean-Charles Hoffelé,Diapason,June 2011



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