Author Topic: sir Malcolm Arnold  (Read 34102 times)

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Offline vandermolen

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Re: sir Malcolm Arnold
« Reply #280 on: September 23, 2016, 01:32:14 AM »
Today (September 23rd) marks the 10th anniversary of Arnold's passing. I'll spin something in his honour today.
Me too. Thanks for mentioning this significant anniversary.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline cilgwyn

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Re: sir Malcolm Arnold
« Reply #281 on: September 23, 2016, 03:15:00 AM »
I'm going to have to put on the Ninth again later after reading these posts!

Offline Maestro267

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Re: sir Malcolm Arnold
« Reply #282 on: September 23, 2016, 06:29:24 AM »
As I write, I'm about halfway through the Lento finale of the Ninth Symphony. It's taken me a while, but now I see how powerful this work really is, despite it's apparent sparsity. Written in 1986, so this work has been with us (albeit for its initial years just as notes on Arnold's manuscript paper) for 30 years this year.

Offline André

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Re: sir Malcolm Arnold
« Reply #283 on: September 23, 2016, 10:25:51 AM »
I'll go for something cheerful and typically arnoldian: his Guitar Concerto.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: sir Malcolm Arnold
« Reply #284 on: September 23, 2016, 10:34:43 AM »
Like Andre, I've gone for some lighter Arnold. This CD (should the picture appear) that I bought as it was a gap in my OCD CD Arnold collection. It is, in point of fact, a charming disc and features a lovely note from Arnold himself in the booklet:
'Hearing these Robert Irving recordings once more is like meeting an old and well-loved friend for, although they are now reaching middle age , they sound as fresh as they did some 40 years ago [Arnold wrote this in 1996], when I sat in the studio and heard Robert [Irving] and the wonderful Philharmonia play my compositions.'

Also included is Arnold conducting his movie score for 'The Sound Barrier' - a lovely disc.

« Last Edit: September 23, 2016, 10:37:29 AM by vandermolen »
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline Sergeant Rock

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Re: sir Malcolm Arnold
« Reply #285 on: September 23, 2016, 10:52:10 AM »
As I write, I'm about halfway through the Lento finale of the Ninth Symphony. It's taken me a while, but now I see how powerful this work really is, despite it's apparent sparsity.

It has grown in my estimation too. The last time I listened to Arnold's complete symphony cycle, I ranked it dead last. Hearing it again today (in memoriam), I can't understand why I didn't appreciate it more. It's a masterpiece, no doubt.

Sarge
the phone rings and somebody says,
"hey, they made a movie about
Mahler, you ought to go see it.
he was as f*cked-up as you are."
                               --Charles Bukowski, "Mahler"

Offline SymphonicAddict

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Re: sir Malcolm Arnold
« Reply #286 on: March 03, 2017, 05:50:18 PM »
In my marathon of symphonies of many composers, the turn was now for Malcolm Arnold. The cycle of symphonies of Naxos is absolutely astounding!!! This is the kind of music and symphonies that I enjoy more. Definitely, the best symphony is the 5th, one of the greatest British symphonies ever. Also I liked a lot the 3rd, 4th, 7th and 8th, but all 9 are excellent, without any exception.

Offline André

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Re: sir Malcolm Arnold
« Reply #287 on: March 04, 2017, 04:49:47 PM »
I concur with your assessment.

For 1, 3, 4 and 5 as well as the Symphonic Dances and the Overtures I suggest a listen to Arnold's own recordings. Absolutely fascinating (and very well recorded). Arnold as conductor is uniformly slower than others in his own music, sometimes startlingly so. He is not afraid to underline the dark currents that go through his works.

Offline SymphonicAddict

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Re: sir Malcolm Arnold
« Reply #288 on: March 04, 2017, 07:48:47 PM »
I concur with your assessment.

For 1, 3, 4 and 5 as well as the Symphonic Dances and the Overtures I suggest a listen to Arnold's own recordings. Absolutely fascinating (and very well recorded). Arnold as conductor is uniformly slower than others in his own music, sometimes startlingly so. He is not afraid to underline the dark currents that go through his works.

I'll try to get some recordings you're talking about  :)

Offline vandermolen

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Re: sir Malcolm Arnold
« Reply #289 on: March 05, 2017, 01:48:58 AM »
This is a very nice set:


It's ridiculously expensive on Amazon.com but cheaper on Amazon.UK
Andre is right that Arnold conducts his own powerful First Symphony, which is possibly my favourite, much slower than any other version. The cycles on Naxos, Chandos and the Vernon Handley set are all good.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2017, 01:52:27 AM by vandermolen »
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Offline cilgwyn

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Re: sir Malcolm Arnold
« Reply #290 on: August 10, 2017, 03:04:15 AM »
I finally got around to buying ths cd. I've had it on my sights for ages. I must say,the performance of the Sixth is first class. Preferable to the Hickox recording,which was the only one I had. Although,I did have an off-air tape once! This is my favourite Arnold symphony. The fifth was my favourite until I heard the Sixth. I happen to think that his Sixth is a marvellous symphony. I feel it assimilates popular and serious concert music even more successfully (and concisely!) than the Fifth. My favourite recording of the latter being Arnold's own emi recording. I also like all the other pieces on this Conifer cd. I love his Fantasy on a theme of John Field,and well remember,taping it off the radio. A lovely and very imaginative piece of music. The Sweeney Todd Suite is fun,and Tam O' Shanter too!! A wonderful selection,and a truly fantastic cd! I like the eye catching artwork,too! Very nice,indeed! Incidentally,I have a 2cd of orchestral works by the American composer,George Chadwick;and I think his Tam O'Shanter Overture is very fine,too. In fact,I actually think it's probably even finer;and in a fair world,imho,it would be a popular choice in concerts around the world. By the way,I think Chadwicks best music is very good,indeed. Imaginative,colourfully orchestrated. It deserves better than it gets! (Like Arnold at his best!) 


Offline relm1

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Re: sir Malcolm Arnold
« Reply #291 on: August 10, 2017, 06:05:24 AM »
I finally got around to buying ths cd. I've had it on my sights for ages. I must say,the performance of the Sixth is first class. Preferable to the Hickox recording,which was the only one I had. Although,I did have an off-air tape once! This is my favourite Arnold symphony. The fifth was my favourite until I heard the Sixth. I happen to think that his Sixth is a marvellous symphony. I feel it assimilates popular and serious concert music even more successfully (and concisely!) than the Fifth. My favourite recording of the latter being Arnold's own emi recording. I also like all the other pieces on this Conifer cd. I love his Fantasy on a theme of John Field,and well remember,taping it off the radio. A lovely and very imaginative piece of music. The Sweeney Todd Suite is fun,and Tam O' Shanter too!! A wonderful selection,and a truly fantastic cd! I like the eye catching artwork,too! Very nice,indeed! Incidentally,I have a 2cd of orchestral works by the American composer,George Chadwick;and I think his Tam O'Shanter Overture is very fine,too. In fact,I actually think it's probably even finer;and in a fair world,imho,it would be a popular choice in concerts around the world. By the way,I think Chadwicks best music is very good,indeed. Imaginative,colourfully orchestrated. It deserves better than it gets! (Like Arnold at his best!) 



This entire series is first rate.  I do prefer Malcolm's own conducting on No. 4 and 1 though but these are all good and this particular CD is thoroughly wonderful.

Offline cilgwyn

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Re: sir Malcolm Arnold
« Reply #292 on: August 10, 2017, 08:58:10 AM »
After listening to Vernon Handley'magnificent recording of Arnold's eighth and Seventh Symphonies I've put this Chandos set on. I find Hickox's interpretations of the symphonies a tad bland. Therefore I'm pleased to react positively to Rumon Gamba's Seventh. He takes the faster sections very fast indeed!! ??? In fact,in his hands they seem quite manic. I like the rest of the performance,too. An exciting performance with spectacular sound quality adding to the drama. I still prefer Handley;but this is very good. I think it's a pity he didn't get to record the earlier ones,on this basis.........although,he did,for the BBC! I downloaded off-air recordings of some of them at the Art Music Forum. Unfortunately (or fortunately?!) Arnold's own recordings of some of his symphonies,understandably,grabbed my attention;after finding them on Youtube. I'll have a listen to Gamba's recordings of 5 & 6,when I have the time! The eighth next. Not a favourite. I DO like the way it begins (that tune). I'm just not sure the invention is as consistent,throughout, as it is in some of his earlier symphonies. Anyway,another listen now! The controversial Ninth,I find strangely absorbing. Although,I need to listen to that one a bit more,before I can really make my mind up.


Offline cilgwyn

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Re: sir Malcolm Arnold
« Reply #293 on: August 10, 2017, 09:01:55 AM »
I can remember listening to a programme on Radio 3,back in the eighties (?) about Arnold's symphonies. Several of them had yet to receive a commercial recording. I remember being intrigued by all the descriptions of the symphonies,with their assimilation of popular music. The stuff about No's 4 (Notting Hill,exotic sounding percussion!) No 6 (Charlie Parker!) and No 7 (Irish music,The Chieftains!!) was particularly mouth watering!! ??? ;D I kept thinking.....what do they sound like?!! ::) ;D

Offline Christo

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Re: sir Malcolm Arnold
« Reply #294 on: August 10, 2017, 10:04:53 AM »
Therefore I'm pleased to react positively to Rumon Gamba's Seventh. He takes the faster sections very fast indeed!! ??? In fact,in his hands they seem quite manic.
Did you hear Arnold conducting his Seventh (as a download from the Unsung or Art-Music forum? Much, IIRC well up to ten minutes, slower.  ???
… music is not only an `entertainment’, nor a mere luxury, but a necessity of the spiritual if not of the physical life, an opening of those magic casements through which we can catch a glimpse of that country where ultimate reality will be found.    RVW, 1948

Offline cilgwyn

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Re: sir Malcolm Arnold
« Reply #295 on: August 10, 2017, 10:39:12 AM »
No,I haven't. I recently downloaded allot of files from there,avoiding some of the older ones,that often seemed to be in poor sound. However,after listening to Arnold's performances,with the BC Northern SO,on Youtube,I enjoyed his Fourth which was in poor sound (but listenable) by the extremely hi-tech trick of increasing the bass on my mini hi-fi!! ;D After listening to Handley and Gamba,whose tempi really did surprise me,when I first heard his recording;hearing Malcolm Arnold conducting a super slow version is a definite must!! Indeed,I have just downloaded it! I prefer to listen on a cd player;so I will wait until I get some more cdr-s,before I listen to it. I need to transfer a pile of 1966 BBC Studio recording of G & S operettas,so that will happen soon!
(I have just visited the AMF and downloaded the file,now). Is Arnold's performance of his Seventh on a par with his controversial Lyrita Fourth,I wonder? I can't wait to hear it!!

I am really warming to Gamba's Seventh. I prefer Handley;but I think his fast tempi do work for me. I remember when I first put his recording on,thinking,"Whoa,that's fast!" But I think it's an interesting and exciting performance. As to the Hickox performances. I think Hickox was a very fine conductor. That said,I find his performances of Arnold's symphonies a tad bland. I wish I could say otherwise!

Offline vandermolen

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Re: sir Malcolm Arnold
« Reply #296 on: August 10, 2017, 02:44:14 PM »
I finally got around to buying ths cd. I've had it on my sights for ages. I must say,the performance of the Sixth is first class. Preferable to the Hickox recording,which was the only one I had. Although,I did have an off-air tape once! This is my favourite Arnold symphony. The fifth was my favourite until I heard the Sixth. I happen to think that his Sixth is a marvellous symphony. I feel it assimilates popular and serious concert music even more successfully (and concisely!) than the Fifth. My favourite recording of the latter being Arnold's own emi recording. I also like all the other pieces on this Conifer cd. I love his Fantasy on a theme of John Field,and well remember,taping it off the radio. A lovely and very imaginative piece of music. The Sweeney Todd Suite is fun,and Tam O' Shanter too!! A wonderful selection,and a truly fantastic cd! I like the eye catching artwork,too! Very nice,indeed! Incidentally,I have a 2cd of orchestral works by the American composer,George Chadwick;and I think his Tam O'Shanter Overture is very fine,too. In fact,I actually think it's probably even finer;and in a fair world,imho,it would be a popular choice in concerts around the world. By the way,I think Chadwicks best music is very good,indeed. Imaginative,colourfully orchestrated. It deserves better than it gets! (Like Arnold at his best!) 


That CD with Symphony 6 is, I agree, terrific. I always thought that the odd numbered symphonies were the best but No.6 is an exception. There is an especially manic section which was used, very appropriately in my opinion, to illustrate Arnold's mental breakdown in the TV documentary about him. Tam O'Shanter Overture is great fun too. Altogether a great CD.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline cilgwyn

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Re: sir Malcolm Arnold
« Reply #297 on: August 11, 2017, 07:20:45 AM »
I bought it,mainly,for the Sixth;but I like everything on it. I remember recording the wonderful John Field Fantasy off the radio. The Sweeney Todd Suite is great fun and the Tam O'Shanter Overture is Arnold at his tuneful,witty,imaginative best. The Sixth is my favourite Arnold symphony. I think it is very powerful,and the way Arnold assimilates popular music influences into his music is very clever indeed. The only other composer I can think of that has managed this as well is Morton Gould,in his third symphony;which is unfortunately,one of the few works to impress me by the,so called,'American Malcolm Arnold'. I do like his Latin American Symphonette,though (particularly his own recording,with the LSO) and he was a fine,and underrated conductor.

I listened to Rumon Gamba's recording of Malcolm Arnold's Ninth symphony,after listening to his recording of the Seventh,which I now like very much (although,Handley's is my favourite). I found the Ninth very absorbing,indeed. In fact,it is a real suprise after the eighth,and I think one of his most inspired and fascinating creations. I can't really see why it caused so much consternation? I think it is very impressive,indeed!
Out of curiosity,I listened to off-air BBC studio recordings of Rumon Gamba conducting Arnold's Fourth and Sixth Symphony. I feel he is much more attune to Arnold's idiom than Hickox;and I think it is a pity he didn't record the whole cycle for Chandos,instead. Handley is my favourite,though.

Christo asked me if I had heard Arnold conducting his Seventh Symphony? The answer was an unfortunate.No! Apparently,he is "well up to ten minutes slower". I looked in the Chandos booklet with the Rumon Gamba set of Symphonies 7-9. According to the timings I saw there,Arnold took just under one hour! Gamba,takes around (Where's the cd?!!) thirty one minutes! That means Arnold's account is nearly twice as long!!! ??? :o I just had to download this,after reading Christo's post. It is now on my pc. I hope to put it on a cd-r as soon as possible (for my personal use!). I enjoyed Arnold's accounts of No's 4,5 & 6,with the BBC Northern SO,last night. The Youtube derived (via Audacity) recording on my cd-r of the Fourth is poor;but a bit of bass on my mini hi-fi made for a fascinating and absorbing listen. I do wish Lyrita would release these recordings on cd. If they can give us George Lloyd conducting,these are certainly worthy of the same honour! The Fourth ,in particular,needs to be heard in better sound (if possible).

Offline vandermolen

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Re: sir Malcolm Arnold
« Reply #298 on: August 11, 2017, 01:00:39 PM »
I bought it,mainly,for the Sixth;but I like everything on it. I remember recording the wonderful John Field Fantasy off the radio. The Sweeney Todd Suite is great fun and the Tam O'Shanter Overture is Arnold at his tuneful,witty,imaginative best. The Sixth is my favourite Arnold symphony. I think it is very powerful,and the way Arnold assimilates popular music influences into his music is very clever indeed. The only other composer I can think of that has managed this as well is Morton Gould,in his third symphony;which is unfortunately,one of the few works to impress me by the,so called,'American Malcolm Arnold'. I do like his Latin American Symphonette,though (particularly his own recording,with the LSO) and he was a fine,and underrated conductor.

I listened to Rumon Gamba's recording of Malcolm Arnold's Ninth symphony,after listening to his recording of the Seventh,which I now like very much (although,Handley's is my favourite). I found the Ninth very absorbing,indeed. In fact,it is a real suprise after the eighth,and I think one of his most inspired and fascinating creations. I can't really see why it caused so much consternation? I think it is very impressive,indeed!
Out of curiosity,I listened to off-air BBC studio recordings of Rumon Gamba conducting Arnold's Fourth and Sixth Symphony. I feel he is much more attune to Arnold's idiom than Hickox;and I think it is a pity he didn't record the whole cycle for Chandos,instead. Handley is my favourite,though.

Christo asked me if I had heard Arnold conducting his Seventh Symphony? The answer was an unfortunate.No! Apparently,he is "well up to ten minutes slower". I looked in the Chandos booklet with the Rumon Gamba set of Symphonies 7-9. According to the timings I saw there,Arnold took just under one hour! Gamba,takes around (Where's the cd?!!) thirty one minutes! That means Arnold's account is nearly twice as long!!! ??? :o I just had to download this,after reading Christo's post. It is now on my pc. I hope to put it on a cd-r as soon as possible (for my personal use!). I enjoyed Arnold's accounts of No's 4,5 & 6,with the BBC Northern SO,last night. The Youtube derived (via Audacity) recording on my cd-r of the Fourth is poor;but a bit of bass on my mini hi-fi made for a fascinating and absorbing listen. I do wish Lyrita would release these recordings on cd. If they can give us George Lloyd conducting,these are certainly worthy of the same honour! The Fourth ,in particular,needs to be heard in better sound (if possible).
What an interesting post! Have you heard Morton Gould's 'West Point Symphony' cilgwyn (No.4 I think)? It is an absolute hoot - especially in the Mercury recording. Arnold also takes much longer than anyone else in his underrated Symphony 1 - my favourite along with Nos 5 and 6. That Gamba set is very good indeed and I like your point that he should have recorded the whole cycle of symphonies.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline cilgwyn

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Re: sir Malcolm Arnold
« Reply #299 on: August 14, 2017, 02:07:06 PM »
Has anyone picked this up? For these works, I only have the Decca box of the Handley Conifer recordings...


I think I can just about see this cd artwork with my glasses off! ??? ;D

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