Arnold Bax's "November Woods"
Tue, 21 Nov 2017

This month, Clef Notes is looking at seasonal music and this week, it’s Autumn! What better title for an Autumn piece than “November Woods”? Arnold Bax’s tone poem was written in 1917 and first performed in 1920. The piece depicts the sounds of nature during late Autumn. In Bax’s mind, this meant stormy and bleak. Upon completing the work, Bax admitted to friends that he also hinted at his own inner-turmoil in this music. At the time, he was in the midst of a tumultuous affair with pianist Harriet Cohen.

As you listen to “November Woods,” see if you can hear the windy morning near the beginning, depicted by the harp, woodwinds, and muted cello. 

Bax lived under the shadow of Edward Elgar and Ralph Vaughan Williams. It wasn’t until later in his life that he received a bit more public recognition.

Join me next time for a special music playlist to accompany your Thanksgiving activities! 

More from Clef Notes:

Frank Bridge's "Summer"
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A Mendelssohn Summer
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Springtime with Copland
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Seasonal Music
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Leonard Bernstein at Music Hall
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