Bax: Quintet for Harp and Strings, Elegiac Trio, Fantasy Sonata, Etc. / Mobius

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Ah, such pleasing, dreamy music! You can almost see fluffy, feathery clouds drifting across a bright blue sky looking down on a lily-covered pasture. Picturesque? You bet. This is atmospheric music, pure and simple. Beauty of sound is given such a priority that concerns of form and structure seem irrelevant, though it's readily apparent that the four-movement Fantasy Sonata for harp and viola is a most substantial and seriously crafted work. The Sonata for flute and harp unavoidably conjures up images of Pan, while the Quintet, with its briefly dark and disturbing moments, shows evidence of having been composed in the wake of the First World War. However, it is the Elegiac Trio that presents Bax's real response to those events, particularly the death of his friend, Irish poet Padraig Pearse. Yet, there is no rage in this music; on the contrary, it inhabits a similar sound world to Debussy's Sonata for Flute, Viola, and Harp, which was composed six months earlier. Throughout all these works, Alison Nicholls draws exquisitely beautiful sounds from her harp, playing with the imagination so essential to the music's expressive character. She is handsomely partnered by Mobius, an ensemble of seven young musicians from four different countries. Their commitment and enthusiasm are evident from the first note to the last on this vividly recorded program. [10/17/2000] --Victor Carr,

Product Description:

  • Release Date: September 01, 2000

  • Catalog Number: 8554507

  • UPC: 636943450727

  • Label: Naxos

  • Number of Discs: 1

  • Composer: Arnold Bax

  • Orchestra/Ensemble: Mobius

  • Performer: Alison Nicholls, Ashan Pillai, David Honoré, Kanako Ito, Lorna McGhee, Martin Storey