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Bax: Symphonies 2 & 5 / Fredman, Leppard, Lpo

Release Date: 05/13/2008 
Label:  Lyrita   Catalog #: 233   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Arnold Bax
Conductor:  Myer FredmanRaymond Leppard
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 18 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

There has been a lot of water flowing under the Baxian bridge since these sterling performances first appeared, but the bottom line is that they have never been surpassed. Indeed, aside from a disc of Havergal Brian symphonies, this performance of the Bax Second is the one Lyrita issue on CD that I have been most eager to see. It’s not just that Meyer Fredman’s pacing is perfect (true also of Raymond Leppard’s Fifth); but what these performances have that no others match is atmospheric sonics that project the colors and “legendary” qualities of Bax’s rich scoring better than any of the subsequent competition (on Chandos, twice, and Naxos).

You can hear this particularly well in the
Read more Second Symphony’s first-movement introduction. Those heraldic horn fanfares resound through the ostinato of harp, celesta, and sustained violins like a summons from another world (first sample). Or consider the terrifying presence of the organ pedals in the central andante, lending power to its main climax without ever turning “churchy” or muddying the orchestral textures. The open acoustic captures the barbaric splendor of the Fifth’s frequent march episodes with unforgettable impact, yet with no sacrifice in clarity, never mind the glittering opening of the central Poco lento .

So much of Bax’s music depends on sheer sonic allure to make its best impression, and if you want to hear his special magic operating at full force, then this disc is the place to start.

-- David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

Symphony no 2 by Arnold Bax
Conductor:  Myer Fredman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1926; England 
Length: 37 Minutes 37 Secs. 
Symphony no 5 by Arnold Bax
Conductor:  Raymond Leppard
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1932; England 
Length: 40 Minutes 4 Secs. 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 treasure from the 70"s March 25, 2014 By robert l a. (franklin pk, IL) See All My Reviews "These are taut performances that coincide with bax"s music. The sound is more appropriate with this music. Bright and clean. Recommended." Report Abuse
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