ARNOLD BAX (1883-1953): Symphony in F (realized and orchestrated by Martin Yates).
Catalogue Number: 02P001
Label: Dutton Epoch
Reference: CDLX 7308
Description: After completing and orchestrating the Moeran Symphony No. 2 and the early Cyril Scott Piano and Cello Concertos, conductor Yates now gives us the biggest project of all: Bax's huge (78 minutes!) symphony of 1907 which the composer completed in piano score and, with no prospect of performance, left in that condition and went on to the many other compositions which flowed from his pen at that period in his young life. Every now and then, you'll hear something which is "mature Bax" - snatches of music which could have come from 15 years later when he was beginning his Symphony No. 1 - but even more interesting is the possibility that he may have used some musical ideas for his unwritten opera Deirdre. The second movement is where the most mature-sounding Bax resides where the sound is in the neighborhood of his very first tone-poems (Cathaleen ni-Hoolihan and Into the Twilight) and the Richard Straussian third is the only one where we know what Bax meant - there is a two-paragraph note sketching out a program taken from Der Tor und der Tod by Hugo von Hofmannsthal. The first and last movements seem to fall back on Glazunov as a model. But there is so much here, you'll need to hear it several times to get a grip on everything. What a bonanza! Royal Scottish National Orchestra; Martin Yates.