Who is going to prevail between Arnold Bax and Henry Purcell? While Purcell isn’t a household name, there isn’t a mezzo-soprano alive who’s escaped her undergraduate studies without singing When I Am Laid in Earth.
Bax is almost an unheard of composer even though he is Sir Bax. Arnold Bax was born into a wealthy family and was free to explore his music, and the ladies, whenever and however he wanted. Bax was a part of the Edwardian British flowering of composers, which began with Elgar.
From Elgar we have to go all the way back to Purcell in the Baroque to find a composer of equal or greater stature.
Purcell was an influence on the pack of early 20th Century Brits and his significance can’t be underestimated.
However, after reading up on Bax I found authors such as Robert Barnett who have a fever for Bax.
The Bax disciples have a passion for his music that is rarely expressed by fans of other composers.
After listening to Bax’s 2nd and 6th Symphonies along with a few of his tone poems I have begun to see their point. I’m surprised Bax isn’t a better known composer.
Bax is going to go through to the next round. He has a raucous crowd to cheer him on and he could go far.
World Cup of Composers: Rule Brittania