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London Philharmonic Orchestra - Bax: Symphonies Nos. 2 & 5

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Bax: Symphonies Nos. 2 & 5

Raymond Leppard, Myer Fredman, London Philharmonic Orchestra

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Before Vernon Handley and Bryden Thomson's digital cycles of the complete symphonies of Arnold Bax, there were only single symphonies in scattered stereo releases. Arguably the best of these were issued by Lyrita, and arguably the best of those are coupled on this reissue: a 1970 Second Symphony with Myer Fredman conducting the London Philharmonic and a 1971 Fifth with Raymond Leppard leading the same orchestra. This argument rests partly on the quality of the pieces. All Bax's symphonies have heroic themes scored in brazen colors, but his 1926 Second has the most cogently reasoned developments and his 1932 Fifth has the most powerful rhetoric plus the most emotionally satisfying Epilogue. But in the end it's the quality of the performances that make the case for the music. A student of Adrian Boult and an assistant to Otto Klemperer, Fredman brings a strong technique and a firm sense of pacing to the Second's epic narrative arch. Leppard later did excellent work with the English Chamber Orchestra, but his youthful recordings in the British orchestral repertoire were especially heartfelt, and his Fifth is both tightly controlled and lyrically affecting, particularly in the Epilogue. The London Philharmonic plays with skill and professionalism, but with perhaps more dedication than it brought to its contemporary recordings of Brahms and Beethoven. Recorded in the Walthamstow Assembly Hall in London, Lyrita's stereo sound is big, clear, and deep, with a tangible sense of time and place.
© TiVo

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Bax: Symphonies Nos. 2 & 5

London Philharmonic Orchestra

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Symphony No. 2 in E Minor / C Major (Sir Arnold Bax)

1
I. Molto moderato - Allegro moderato
00:16:09

London Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist - Arnold Bax, Composer - Myer Fredman, Conductor

(C) 2018 Lyrita (P) 2018 Lyrita

2
II. Andante
00:11:09

London Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist - Arnold Bax, Composer - Myer Fredman, Conductor

(C) 2018 Lyrita (P) 2018 Lyrita

3
III. Poco largamente - Allegro feroce
00:10:21

London Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist - Arnold Bax, Composer - Myer Fredman, Conductor

(C) 2018 Lyrita (P) 2018 Lyrita

Symphony No. 5 in C-sharp minor (Sir Arnold Bax)

4
I. Poco lento - Più mosso - Allegro con fuoco
00:17:32

London Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist - Raymond Leppard, Conductor - Arnold Bax, Composer

(C) 2018 Lyrita (P) 2018 Lyrita

5
II. Poco lento
00:10:48

London Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist - Raymond Leppard, Conductor - Arnold Bax, Composer

(C) 2018 Lyrita (P) 2018 Lyrita

6
III. Poco moderato - Allegro - Epilogue
00:12:26

London Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist - Raymond Leppard, Conductor - Arnold Bax, Composer

(C) 2018 Lyrita (P) 2018 Lyrita

Album Description

Before Vernon Handley and Bryden Thomson's digital cycles of the complete symphonies of Arnold Bax, there were only single symphonies in scattered stereo releases. Arguably the best of these were issued by Lyrita, and arguably the best of those are coupled on this reissue: a 1970 Second Symphony with Myer Fredman conducting the London Philharmonic and a 1971 Fifth with Raymond Leppard leading the same orchestra. This argument rests partly on the quality of the pieces. All Bax's symphonies have heroic themes scored in brazen colors, but his 1926 Second has the most cogently reasoned developments and his 1932 Fifth has the most powerful rhetoric plus the most emotionally satisfying Epilogue. But in the end it's the quality of the performances that make the case for the music. A student of Adrian Boult and an assistant to Otto Klemperer, Fredman brings a strong technique and a firm sense of pacing to the Second's epic narrative arch. Leppard later did excellent work with the English Chamber Orchestra, but his youthful recordings in the British orchestral repertoire were especially heartfelt, and his Fifth is both tightly controlled and lyrically affecting, particularly in the Epilogue. The London Philharmonic plays with skill and professionalism, but with perhaps more dedication than it brought to its contemporary recordings of Brahms and Beethoven. Recorded in the Walthamstow Assembly Hall in London, Lyrita's stereo sound is big, clear, and deep, with a tangible sense of time and place.
© TiVo

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