A THING OF BEAUTY
'David Lloyd-Jones and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra spontaneously reach new poetic-dramatic heights ...'
Bax's Third Symphony -
with BILL NEWMAN
Dedicated to Sir Henry Wood, BBC Symphony Orchestra Principal violist
Bernard Shore said of the Third Symphony 'It is as thrilling to play as
to listen to'. It starts where No 2 left off, but Bax was in a cold room
at the Station Hotel, Morar on Scotland's west coast at its commencement.
Widely-spaced episodes are now confined to climaxes (the lead-in to figure
43, the first movement close at 60), the scene the desolate, farther most
northern tip, totally unlike the gorgeous setting of BBC TV's popular
Monarch of the Glen. The main subject, a mournful 10-note phrase
- bassoon, then lower strings - graphically pinpoints the remoteness, but
when Bax turns it into a Lento moderato fugal subject, adding celeste
and harp, he shows unparalleled mastery.
The slow movement (A minor - C major) is a thing of beauty - solo French
horn at the start (comparable to Delius's A Mass of Life)
against shimmering strings [listen - track 2, 0:00-1:00]
- then a nostalgic trumpet fanfare followed by celeste chordal colourings
which transform into the violins' lovely melody. Decorative arpeggio
flutes/clarinets, harp/horn, build upwards to a dramatic Tempo giusto
G major outburst, Bax displaying motifs in major/minor sequences until solo
horn, clarinets 1 & 2, bassoon spiral downwards to the C major close.
Copyright © 11 November 2000
Bill Newman, Edgware, UK
CD INFORMATION - NAXOS 8.553608
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BILL NEWMAN'S REVIEW OF BAX CHAMBER MUSIC
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