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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars VERY early Bax muscle-stretching
I found the work fascinating. To begin, the finale is way too verbose by about 20 minutes. Too many weak themes, built into a fury and going nowhere. I sense young Bax had grown tired of the work by this point.
That said, I find the first two movements quite memorable and Baxian, especially the 2nd. The scherzo is passable...but still too long.
My solution, try...
Published 10 months ago by Brian Ferrell

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A study of his youth
This symphony was written in 1907, when Bax was twenty four years old, Although the progress of its music is somewhat awkward, there are a lot of melodies which appear frequently jn turn. It's an evidence that young Bax
had an abundant talent. The realisation done by Martin Yates went well, I suppose. One defect on this symphony is too long to concentrate...
Published 9 months ago by SHIGERU TAKAMORI


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars VERY early Bax muscle-stretching, 9 Jan 2014
By 
Brian Ferrell (Jasper, IN USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Arnold Bax Symphony in F (realised by Martin Yates) (Audio CD)
I found the work fascinating. To begin, the finale is way too verbose by about 20 minutes. Too many weak themes, built into a fury and going nowhere. I sense young Bax had grown tired of the work by this point.
That said, I find the first two movements quite memorable and Baxian, especially the 2nd. The scherzo is passable...but still too long.
My solution, try listening to ONLY the first three movements and experience a quite marvelous very early Bax three movement symphony (as are all the others). The scherzo comes off better as a finale.
I have enjoyed it immensely that way. I thus avoid the colossal disappointment with the original finale.
Yates' orchestration is a marvel and sounds just as if done by Bax.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Winderful insight into a young composers mind, 14 Dec 2013
This review is from: Arnold Bax Symphony in F (realised by Martin Yates) (Audio CD)
Whilst the Symphony would clearly have benefitted from Bax actually doing some work on it some years after he wrote it, I think it is a hugely enjoyable piece. Perhaps as a "symphony" the somewhat rhapsodic episodes make it a sometimes contentious listen, however I thoroughly enjoyed listening to the piece. Each movement is like a tone poem of it's own and although I readily enjoy listening to the outer movements, I really love the second and third movements particularly. The second movement contains one of Bax's most delicious melodies and the third whips along in a kind of sardonic waltz, all the while raising the game in power and momentum. The orchestra are splendid, it sounds as if they enjoyed discovering this music. The orchestration, by the conductor Martin Yates is extraordinary, he must have studied some of the early Bax works to pull it off so convincingly. Hats off again to Dutton and to Yates and the RSNO for allowing us hear another "what might have been". I will be playing this disc for years to come and enjoying hearing the young Arnold Bax trying things out and flexing his muscles.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars If you like English music you will like this., 24 Jan 2014
By 
Mr. Eric R. Sherring (Wiltshire, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Arnold Bax Symphony in F (realised by Martin Yates) (Audio CD)
As soon as the music starts it is recognisable as Bax's work and the arrangements sound authentic too. Whatever your view of restored works this is an enjoyable symphony and well worth a place in any collection of English music.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A study of his youth, 10 Feb 2014
By 
SHIGERU TAKAMORI (Shizuoka, Japan) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Arnold Bax Symphony in F (realised by Martin Yates) (Audio CD)
This symphony was written in 1907, when Bax was twenty four years old, Although the progress of its music is somewhat awkward, there are a lot of melodies which appear frequently jn turn. It's an evidence that young Bax
had an abundant talent. The realisation done by Martin Yates went well, I suppose. One defect on this symphony is too long to concentrate one's mind to listen. This work does not represent his Celtic tendency particularly.
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16 of 26 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars With respect this does not live up to the product description., 11 Dec 2013
By 
Tintagel (St Albans, Herts) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Arnold Bax Symphony in F (realised by Martin Yates) (Audio CD)
The playing and conducting warrant credit, and the sound is fine (a little dry, but nothing seriously wrong with it). But I just lost it there......the sentimentalists (and tho see desperate to spread the Bax word - understandably) will doubtless mark this review as 'unhelpful', but I really don't care.

I am a Bax lover for sure. Really I am. With several Bax recordings in my collection - basically every Orchestral recording that I have been able to find, including a number of versions of each symphony - I have spent a fair amount of time listening to the man's music.

Only a small selection of pieces have disappointed in any way - the tone poem Christmas Eve and the Cello Concerto don't do it for me, for example - but almost everything else leaves me enraptured every time.

This new recording obviously generated some excitement, but I can't honestly say that I enjoyed it greatly. In fact, by the end, I was pretty bored by all three attempts to listen through. The first movement is fairly attractive, reminding me a little of Atterberg's First, but my hopes faded from then on. Both the second and third movements have some interesting episodes - the third is even quite quirky in places - but ultimately fall into distinct elements. This just leaves an impression of music that lacks direction. The finale didn't even seem to have particularly attractive episodes, so there was little hope of it providing any kind of worthy conclusion.

Throughout there are hollow gestures galore, all orchestrated with admirable transparency by Martin Yates. After a while I founds myself wondering at how such confident playing could deliver so much....well....nothing.

When I first started to play the disc I didn't look at the back of the box, so I didn't know how long it would be. Around 10 minutes in I started to look forward to the possibility of a Tone Poem or other work to act as a fill up. When it became clear that this windbag of a Symphony was 70+ minutes I wondered if I would ever listen again.

I have tried 3 times now. This is. Surely one of the biggest musical disappointments that I have had in years.
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