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Cat. No. CHAN 10126 Price: £10.5 No. of discs: 1
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CHAN 10126 - The Film Music of Sir Arnold Bax
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Available From: 13 October 2003
"Bax’s score for David Lean’s celebrated film Oliver Twist was a notable success. With its solo piano part, written as a vehicle for his lover, Harriet Cohen, and 78rpm records available almost immediately, it became one of Bax’s most frequently heard works. We know the score from two sources: the soundtrack of the film and the suite which was extracted for concert performance. After the composer’s death an incomplete manuscript in his hand appeared at Sotheby’s. More recently a copyist’s score of selected movements was found thrown out in a skip in Brighton; it turned out to be another suite which had been extracted from Bax’s score and includes music that would otherwise have been lost. Both scores were placed in the British Library. When Chandos announced its intention to make this recording, and it was known that it was now possible to assemble all the music for Oliver Twist, the Bax Trust commissioned Graham Parlett to investigate all the sources and assemble a complete score.

In the summer of 1952 Sir Arnold Bax was persuaded to write the music for the Crown Film Unit’s short film Malta, GC, about the heroic way in which the islanders resisted fierce and repeated war-time air attacks from Italy and Sardinia. Film music was a medium in which Bax had no experience and no inclination, and yet he produced a notable success. The Malta, GC Suite was widely played at the time. This recording features the music written for the second reel.

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Reviews

Suffice it to say , Rumon Gamba and the BBC Philharmonic sound wholly attuned to Baxs distinctive idiom, and the Chandos recording possesses lustre, glow and realism in abundance.
Gramophone

'Gamba and the BBC Philharmonic turn in one of then most powerful performances they have achieved in the series. Not only for Bax fans and film buffs, but for enthusiasts for British music generally, I'd say.'
BBC Music Magazine

Rumon Gamba secures exemplary results from his assembled forces…
Gramophone on CHAN 10007 (Vaughan Williams)

Rumon Gamba is plainly as convinced a Baxian as Handley: he really makes the music tell. Graham Parletts role in preparing the score likewise deserves gratitude. And so, too, does Chandos, for all it has done for Bax over the years.
International Record Review

'It is sad that these two scores represent virtually everything Sir Arnold Bax wrote for the cinema (except for a short film in 1951), but Chandos does great justice to his work. A highly recommended album and a dazzling example of the composer's genius.'
Music from the Movies

…Rumon Gamba is in fine form… a sterling performance.
The Observer on CHAN 10007 (Vaughan Williams)

…a fine, beautifully played and recorded celebration of Addinsells underrated contribution to British Film.
BBC Music Magazine on CHAN 10046 (Addinsell)

Rumon Gambas performances are excellent.
Hi-Fi News ‘Record of the Month’ on CHAN 10007 (Vaughan Williams)

It is sad that these two scores represent virtually everything Sir Arnold Bax wrote for the cinema (except for a short film in 1951), but Chandos does great justice to his work. A highly recommended album and a dazzling example of the composers genius.
Music from the Movies

 

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