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Lewis Foreman's classic biography of the composer Arnold Bax (1883-1953) was first published in 1983. Documenting the life and times of a remarkable figure whose life touched a wide circle in England and Ireland, it was notable for having many of Bax's friends and contemporaries as sources, most of whom have since died. It also informed the remarkable revival of Bax's music and reputation which has taken place over the last twenty years.
Now completely revised in the light of much new material including the huge archive of the pianist Harriet Cohen, Bax's mistress, which has only just become available for research, it is a notable portrait of a unique musical milieu. Bax's extensive musical output is now comprehensively recorded and widely known and here all the music is discussed from first hand acquaintance with all the revivals and recordings. This is the essential handbook to Bax and his period.

LEWIS FOREMAN is a freelance author and advisor to record companies.


[Foreman's] big Bax surely his central achievement...The book established itself at the outset as the standard work on one of the most important and least understood British composers of his time...The new edition makes [it] more indispensable than ever. BBC MUSIC MAGAZINE [Calum MacDonald]
Baxians everywhere owe Lewis Foreman a profound debt of gratitude and newcomers can rest assured that he is an absorbing and painstaking biographer...mandatory reading. GRAMOPHONE [Andrew Achenbach]
A more wide-ranging study of Bax and his work than ever before...This book is a tour de force and the fitting culmination of a lifetime's dedicated research. CLASSIC FM MAGAZINE [Julian Haylock]
One of the great biographies of an English composer just got even better. May it snare still more converts to this betwitching composer. CLASSICAL MUSIC
For its contribution to the ongoing documentation of an extraordinary period of British musical creativity it is invaluable. BRITISH MUSIC SOCIETY NEWS
Foreman's latest effort is essential reading for anyone with an interest in Bax. JOURNAL OF THE SOCIETY OF MUSICOLOGY IN IRELAND
Highly recommended. CHOICE


First Published: 25 Jan 2007
13 Digit ISBN: 9781843832096
25 black and white illustrations
Pages: 616
Size: 23.4 x 15.6
Binding: Hardback
Imprint: Boydell Press
BIC Class: AV

Details updated on 05 Oct 2015


  • 1  1883-1900: The Backround
  • 2  1900-1905: The Royal Academy of Music
  • 3  1905-1909: Many Influences
  • 4  1909-1910: Ireland and Russia
  • 5  1910-1911: Marriage
  • 6  1912-1914: Rathgar and London
  • 7  1914-1916: The Great War
  • 8  1916-1918: Harriet Cohen
  • 9  1918-1920: Peace and Success
  • 10  1921-1923: Triumph
  • 11  1924-1925: Crisis
  • 12  1926-1928: New Directions
  • 13  1928-1929: Dreams and Reality
  • 14  1930-1932: Going Northern
  • 15  1933-1936: Past Fifty
  • 16  1937-1939: `I can't grow up'
  • 17  1939-1945: The Second World War: Storrington
  • 18  1945-1953: Last Years
  • 19  After 1953: Decline and Revival
  • 20  Appendix A: Dermot O'Byrne
  • 21  Appendix B: King Kojata
  • 22  Appendix C: The Happy Forest by Herbert Farjeon
  • 23  Appendix D: Bax's Symphonies at the Proms
  • 24  Appendix E: Felix Aprahamian's Foreward to the First Edition [1982]

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