℗ © 2014 2xHD
Arnold Bax (1883-1953)
Royal Scottish National Orchestra
David Lloyd-Jones, conductor
The son of cultured and well-to-do English parents, Arnold Bax was born in Streatham but spent much of his childhood in Hampstead, where the family later settled, taught at home by a private tutor and strongly influenced by the cultured and comfortable environment in which he found himself. His early interest in music persuaded his father, a barrister, to allow him to enter the Royal Academy of Music in London at the age of seventeen. There he became a piano pupil of Tobias Matthay, while studying composition under the Wagnerian Frederick Corder.
In many ways it must seem that the 1920s brought Bax his period of greatest success. He was prolific in his creativity and his works were widely performed. With the end of his marriage, he was able to continue his close association with the pianist Harriet Cohen, although this did not preclude other relationships. The 1930s brought public honours and at the end of the decade appointment as Master of the King’s Musick, although his gifts did not lend themselves easily to the composition of occasional celebratory works, as the position seemed to demand. The changes in musical style and taste left Bax to some extent alienated from the world in which he found himself. Composition continued, however, including a Coronation March in 1952 for the accession of the new monarch. He died, as he might have wished, in Ireland, while staying with his friend, the German-born Irish composer Aloys Fleischman in Cork, the place he loved best.
Recorded August 24-25, 2000 at the Henry Wood Hall in Glasgow, Scotland.
Producer and recording engineer: Tim Handley
Mastering engineer: René Laflamme