Christmas Eve

December 24 2012

A century ago.

Arnold Bax composed the tone poem Christmas Eve on the Mountains in 1912 and revised it in 1921 as Christmas Eve.

Quoted by David Parlett: “The motif of this tone-poem occurred to me whilst wandering one frosty evening last winter [1911-12] [bracket in original] in the beautiful and legended Gleann na Smól [my link], in county Dublin.” A quasi-Irish tune is related to one in the first string quartet.

A bar that admits Britten, Delius, Elgar, Holst, Tippett, Vaughan Williams, Walton as great composers does not (I think) quite admit Bax. I will allow Butterworth through, though he died at only thirty-one. Bax wrote seven symphonies between the wars.

“Music for the solitary inebriate,” someone (Beecham?) unkindly said.

London Philharmonic, Bryden Thompson. Organ, Malcolm Hicks. Not to be confused with operas by Rimsky-Korsakov (Christmas Eve) or Tchaikovsky (Vakula the Smith) after the story Christmas Eve by Gogol.

The Kirchner image reminds one that Davos is a month away.

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