Private Passions is an April 2019 Gramophone Editor’s Choice!
“First recordings of two sets of piano pieces by Arnold Bax and Harriet Cohen (his charismatic muse and lover) adorn this latest helping of home-grown fare from the excellent Mark Bebbington. Cohen’s four Russian Impressions prove a charming find, the first two especially winning Bax’s approval. Bebbington lends them atmospheric and deftly affectionate advocacy, as he does the rather more substantial Four Pieces that Bax completed in March 1947. … However, the real meat in this uncommonly enterprising and generous programme comes with the large-scale Sonata in E flat that Bax completed in June 1921 and subsequently reworked as his First Symphony. … With his rock-solid technical armoury and supreme composure, Bebbington brings thrilling power and intoxicating poetry to Bax’s turbulent, ruggedly beautiful inspiration, the sonata’s gorgeous Lento con molto espressione centrepiece delivered with especial perception. … In summary, a terrific issue.”—Andrew Achenbach, Gramophone Magazine