A PAEAN OF REJOICING
'... a sunburst carrying the listener forward and upwards
to new quests of achievement.'
Bax's Fifth Symphony -
with BILL NEWMAN
Harking back to the good old days of Music Magazine on the BBC
Third Programme, I remember they enticed Bax into the studio for a discussion
of his music. Much to Alec Robertson's amusement, he parked himself
on a back seat occupying himself munching a crumpet with his morning tea!
This must have been during the years 1941-1953 when he was staying in a
Sussex hotel; in the 12 years before he had escaped London for his Winter
sojourns in Morar, Inverness-shire where the bracing climate and views across
the Atlantic to the islands of Hebrides continued to act as a catalyst for
the remainder of his seven symphonies.
No 5 dates from 1931, its opening movement suggesting a release from
desolation and its remote starting point - E minor, 2 clarinets interweaving
slow motion tentacles over a monotonous ground bass strumming figure. Instead
of employing the middle notes in the octave, Bax modulates downwards to
the relative C major as the musical patterns quicken in pace, utilizing
his familiar repeated and dotted notes to develop his ideas upwards and
outwards almost, but not quite, beyond horizon extremities.
Copyright © 12 November 2000
Bill Newman, Edgware, UK
CD INFORMATION - NAXOS 8.554509
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