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Bax: Symphonic Variations / Morning Song (Maytime in Sussex)

Arnold Bax , David Nolan , Bryden Thomson , London Philharmonic Orchestra , Margaret Fingerhut Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product Details

  • Performer: Margaret Fingerhut
  • Orchestra: London Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Conductor: David Nolan, Bryden Thomson
  • Composer: Arnold Bax
  • Audio CD (October 28, 1992)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Chandos
  • ASIN: B000000AFK
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #658,059 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Symphonic Variations For Piano And Orchestra: Lento espressivo (The Theme)
2. Symphonic Variations For Piano And Orchestra: Variation I (Youth) Allegro: Restless And Tumultuous
3. Symphonic Variations For Piano And Orchestra: Variation II (Nocturne) Slow And Serene: Broadly
4. Symphonic Variations For Piano And Orchestra: Variation III (Strife) Allegro vivace
5. Symphonic Variations For Piano And Orchestra: Variation IV (The Temple) Slow And Solemn
6. Symphonic Variations For Piano And Orchestra: Variation V (Play) Scherzo: Allegretto vivace
7. Symphonic Variations For Piano And Orchestra: Intermezzo (Enchantment) Very Moderate Tempo
8. Symphonic Variations For Piano And Orchestra: Variation VI (Triumph) Moderate Tempo - Glowing And Passionate
9. Symphonic Variations For Piano And Orchestra: Morning Song (Maytime In Sussex)

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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bax's epic Piano Concerto March 26, 2000
Bax was considered a pianist of 'formidable' calibre when he was at the Royal Academy of Music with legendary sight-reading abilities that could take on the most complex musical scores. He never produced a Piano Concerto as such although he wrote several works for piano and orchestra of which this is the biggest in scale. The work lasts over 57 minutes and as the title 'Symphonic Variations' suggests this entails an exposition of a theme and then we have 6 variations and an intermezzo. The piece comes from 1916 which was in Bax's 'white-hot' romantic period when he just wrote down music that just poured out of his head (or heart). This year, the year of the Easter Uprising as well as the horrors of the Somme must have seemed a cataclysm for our sensitive artist and the music seems to me a journey through different landscapes and moods with the piano and orchestra working a deux rather than the traditional structure of the piano concerto with its obvious showpiece nature for the soloist with the orchestra there to make them look and sound good. The work was written for Harriet Cohen ('Tania' for Bax) who was an excellent pianist, although she had small hands which limited Bax's writing for her. This limitation is not apparent for the music is big with big themes and a rolling epic perspective that leaves the listener, and no doubt the player, exhausted. At the end of variation 5 we have an extended cadenza which is very exacting. Miss Cohen retained the exclusive rights to play this work which limited its playability. I have the Joyce Hatto 1970 recording and Ms Fingerhut is in every sense as good as her. The recording is obviously better and playing are excellent. There is also not the annoying split in the work when we needed to turn the record over to side 2. Read more ›
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