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BAX: Violin Sonatas, Vol. 2 (No. 2, Sonata in F major)

Composer(s):Bax, Arnold
Artist(s) Wass, Ashley, piano • Jackson, Laurence, violin
Period(s) 20th Century
Genre Classical Music
Category Chamber Music
Catalogue 8.570094
Label Naxos
Quality   320kbps
Album Price
 
MP3
USD 6.99
 

 


A far cry from the heart-on-sleeve romanticism of his First Violin Sonata (Naxos 8.557540), Bax’s Second Violin Sonata reflects the composer’s concerns regarding the First World War. This is particularly evident in the second movement, described by the composer as a ‘dance of death’ in which the violin remains muted throughout. The Legend and Ballad were composed around the time of Bax’s finest symphonic poems and share those works’ refined drama as well as their lush exoticism. The unnumbered Sonata in F, actually Bax’s fourth and last Violin Sonata, was suppressed by the composer during his lifetime as he soon scored it as the Nonet. It was not performed as a sonata until the celebrations for the

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Review By David Denton,Naxos,November 2007

Modern commentators make much of the impact that the First World War had on Bax’s Second Violin Sonata, pointing to the change of style that separated it from the earlier sonata. Conveniently they forget that the second and third movements in the revised version of the first sonata were also composed in 1915. Indeed the final version of the First was not completed until the end of the Second World War. Though the conflict did have a profound effect on him, we should surely accept Bax’s final description of the second sonata as having no programme, but should be described as ‘A sonata in four linked movements’. It could hardly hope for a more persuasive account, the quiet introverted beauty of the slow movement acting as a perfect foil to the brilliance of the

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