Search - Arnold Bax, Ashley Wass :: Bax: The Princess's Rose Garden: Aean; A Hill Tune; Lullaby

Bax: The Princess's Rose Garden: Aean; A Hill Tune; Lullaby
Arnold Bax, Ashley Wass
Bax: The Princess's Rose Garden: Aean; A Hill Tune; Lullaby
Genre: Classical
  •  Track Listings (11) - Disc #1


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CD Details

All Artists: Arnold Bax, Ashley Wass
Title: Bax: The Princess's Rose Garden: Aean; A Hill Tune; Lullaby
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Label: Naxos
Original Release Date: 1/1/2006
Re-Release Date: 2/21/2006
Genre: Classical
Styles: Opera & Classical Vocal, Chamber Music, Forms & Genres, Variations, Historical Periods, Classical (c.1770-1830), Modern, 20th, & 21st Century
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 747313276929

CD Reviews

Underappreciated 20th Cent. piano music
E. Weed | Houston, TX | 02/28/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Much more attention has been given to Bax's symphonic output than to his chamber and piano music, which is regrettable, because there is some fine material out there that some listeners may find more appealing than the orchestral works. This disc, along with Naxos' release of Bax's chamber music with harp, are two excellent, and inexpensive, explorations of that repertoire.

The piano music has been recorded before, most recently (that I know of) by Eric Parkin on Chandos (which is available in a 4-disc set). Two of those discs are devoted primarily to Bax's four sonatas for piano, all of which Ashley Wass has also recorded for Naxos. The sonatas are tough-going virtuoso vehicles that seem, to this listener at least, overly concerned with technical bravura and splashy excitement at the expense of engaging content.

This disc of "miniatures" is a much more rewarding place to start an exploration of Bax's piano music. The musical language is somewhat like Elgar filtered through Debussy and Scriabin. Unlike the sonatas, these shorter pieces are less concerned with virtuosic display, and are often calm, quiet, and mysterious, not unlike some of the best moments in Bax's tone poems for orchestra. They are structurally less serpentine than the sonatas, and reveal themselves fairly simply and easily, without, however, becoming dull. This is wonderful stuff for a Sunday afternoon.

Wass is a strong pianist, and in a few brief comparisons, I found his interpretations more clear and convincing than Parkin's. The sound, as it is so often with Naxos, is first rate."
Beautiful not-so-mini miniatures
Biblibio | 10/01/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This third disc of Bax's piano works is seemingly dubbed the "Miniature" album. Perhaps it feels that way. These are not sonatas like the other CDs. Sure, when you think of it that way, this is a disc of miniatures (which some indeed are). Bax's lovely piano works fill this CD up very nicely with a solid compilation of beautiful repertoire, and a great place to start your Bax investigation.

Each piece here has its ups and downs. "What the Minstrel Told Us" is a long opening piece, but one that will grab you in for the whole of the album. It is simply beautiful.

Every piece here is lovely and emotional, yet with energy to spare. There is a touch of just about anything you want, and you can listen to this CD straight through many times without getting bored or realizing that a piece just isn't as good.

My own favorites on the disc happen to be "Gopak" and "Nocturne (May Night in the Ukraine)", the 2 Russian Tone Poems. These two pieces had me sitting stunned for a few minutes after listening to them. They have beauty, elegance, and so much more. While perhaps the two pieces that follow them and close the disc are the weakest (or simply cannot compare to the previous), the overall impression of the CD is certainly favorable.

Everything is played very well with a clear sound and a beauty to match. A wonderful CD full of miniatures and full-size pieces that are sure to make you fall in love with them and Bax-the-incredible-composer as well.

Recommended as a place to meet Bax or simply as a CD of great piano music."