Bax: Winter Legends/ Concertino/ Saga Fragment (Ashley Wass/ Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra/ James Judd) (Naxos: 8.572597)
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Arnold Bax was one of the major forces in British composition between the two world wars, his music blending broad melodies and brilliant orchestral sonorities into a lush Romantic sound world. The three works on this disc were composed for the renowned pianist Harriet Cohen. Bax described Winter Legends as 'a northern nature piece full of sea and pine forest and dark legends'. Subtitled 'Maytime in Sussex', Morning Song celebrated the 21st birthday of the then Princess Elizabeth. In contrast, martial overtones give the Saga Fragment, the composer's own orchestration of his Piano Quartet of 1922, a darker hue.
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