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Penguin Guide, January 2009

Dedicating his fine symphony of 1932 to Sibelius, Sir Arnold Bax openly echoes the example of that Finnish master, not least in nagging ostinato rhythms. There is also a northern chill in the writing, freshly caught and cleanly recorded in this fine performance from David Lloyd-Jones and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. The music remains very British in flavour, with the triumphant conclusion in a brazen major key affirming that. The Tale the Pine-Trees Knew of 1931, another northern inspiration, makes the ideal coupling. An excellent bargain.

Sam Tellig
Stereophile, June 2001

"Part of an excellent cycle of Bax symphonies. Start with this disc and I'll bet you'll want the rest."

John Puccio
Sensible Sound, May 2001

"Done up as sympathetically as it is by Lloyd-Jones, whose Scottish forces must have this music in their blood, the entire album is hard to resist. Then there's Naxos' sound, which is equally big and dramatic, with plenty of weight, and you get more than a measure of your money's worth. Highly recommended."

Roger Hecht
American Record Guide, October 2000

"The Fifth combines the anger of Bax's first two symphonies with the mystery of 3 and the hedonism of 4. It is his most romantic and opulent symphony, with its visions of the sea and the way it contrasts "liturgical" chants with pagan bacchanalia. Bax called it one of his "Nordic works". It's hard to believe he wrote it under the influence of Sibelius (its dedicatee), though I do hear that influence in its tight construction, based on the rhythmic opening clarinet motive.

"David Lloyd - Jones's reading is like his recordings of the first three symphonies: light textures, dryish sonorities, lively pace, thoughtful, incisive phrasing, and clear orchestral sound. His analysis and detail bring out nuances and clarify phrases and structures."

Andrew Achenbach
Gramophone, July 2000

" gives me enormous pleasure to report once again that Lloyd-Jones's intelligent, meticulously observant and purposeful direction pays handsome dividends, and that a well-drilled RSNO in turn responds with sensitivity and enthusiasm.

"In short, another terrific coupling within what is turning out to be one mightily rewarding enterprise. Plaudits, too, for another eminently truthful, judiciously balanced sound picture from producer/engineer Tim Handley. Roll on the remaining symphonies (Nos 4, 6 and 7) with these same artists!"

Michael Kennedy
BBC Music Magazine, July 2000

"Another splendid performance in David Lloyd-Jones's Bax cycle with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra."

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