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Bax: Symphony 7 / Tintagel by Arnold Bax
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Bax: Symphony 7 / Tintagel

by Arnold Bax

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Arnold Bax was a prolific writer of music in most of the traditional forms, opera being the principal exception. His earliest work was written in the summer of 1896, when he was twelve; his last dates from February 1953, eight months before his death at nearly seventy. Like Sibelius, who was granted a life pension early in his career, Bax's independent wealth meant that he was not obliged to teach, conduct or even compose for a living; and yet, like Sibelius, we find that throughout his working life ambitious scores such as the seven symphonies are interspersed with lesser pieces in undisciplined profusion. Determining precisely how many works he composed depends of course upon what criteria are used to define a single 'work', whether revisions and arrangements count as separate pieces, and so forth; but the main, chronological section has 386 entries, and there are well over 400 separate movements, of which nearly a quarter employ an orchestra. There are nearly fifty chamber works, more than sixty pieces for solo piano, twenty-five choral settings and over 130 songs. As well as music, Bax found the time to write four plays, at least thirty short stories, more than 300 poems, and over sixty miscellaneous articles, reviews and programme notes.
  antimuzak | Sep 10, 2006 |
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