ARNOLD BAX (1883-1953): Symphonic Variations for Piano and Orchestra, Concertante for Piano (Left Hand) and Orchestra.
Catalogue Number: 05K082
Description: Only the second recording of the Variations, 21 years after the premiere on Chandos. This 1916-18 work (46 minutes in this new recording) is prime Bax, written before the First Symphony, in the general period of the tone poems, and is full of self-references and other obscure clues to a program which can only be speculated about. Anyone who loves the tone poems or, indeed, the first symphony, needs to have this on their shelves as well. Also written for Harriet Cohen, but much later, in 1949, is the three-movement Concertante and the striding heroism and legendary Celtic mists are only occasionally heard in pastel-colored echoes in a work which eschews confrontation and is a happy, though not uneventful, dialogue between piano and orchestra. Ashley Wass (piano), Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra; James Judd.