Author Topic: sir Malcolm Arnold  (Read 41276 times)

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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: sir Malcolm Arnold
« Reply #320 on: October 22, 2017, 02:46:46 PM »
Man, I love Arnold’s 7th! I love it’s kaleidoscopic, demented musical demeanor. I think it’s one of his most disturbing works and gives a glimpse into Arnold’s psyche as the 9th also seems to show another side of the composer that we hadn’t heard previously.
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Offline amw

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Re: sir Malcolm Arnold
« Reply #321 on: October 22, 2017, 05:07:13 PM »
7 is the only one I really like. It's kind of a musical equivalent to Sartre's Nausea, capturing the claustrophobia and absurdity of existence and the meaninglessness of musical signifiers. I mean he didn't think of it that way himself (actually it encodes the names of his children as musical ciphers and incorporates homages to them, he may have seen it as an attempt at reconciliation) but his mental state at the time evidently made him unusually receptive to such an existentialist and even nihilistic view of music. Even the "triumphant" final F major cadence, utterly conventional in nature, does not arise from the music itself and is simply arbitrarily placed after the point where Arnold stopped writing. After musical syntax and the language of "light music" that Arnold wrote in have been systematically broken down for 31 minutes, their sudden reassertion is not only meaningless but violent and shocking.

Sorry if that was pretentious. For recordings I like Gamba and Yates.

Offline Sergeant Rock

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Re: sir Malcolm Arnold
« Reply #322 on: October 22, 2017, 05:22:15 PM »

In order of preference, I'd rank them like so: 5, 2, 7...

Man, I love Arnold’s 7th! I love it’s kaleidoscopic, demented musical demeanor. I think it’s one of his most disturbing works and gives a glimpse into Arnold’s psyche as the 9th also seems to show another side of the composer that we hadn’t heard previously.

7 is the only one I really like. It's kind of a musical equivalent to Sartre's Nausea capturing the claustrophobia and absurdity of existence[...]For recordings I like Gamba and Yates.

Three votes for Arnold 7. I'll listen again later today, probably Gamba.

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 Mirror Image

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Re: sir Malcolm Arnold
« Reply #323 on: October 22, 2017, 05:39:03 PM »
Let us know how you get on with it, Sarge.
“I really would like to go to Marmorkirken. It was there that I heard music for the first time, and that experience is like a heavenly vision for me.” - Rued Langgaard

Offline André

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Re: sir Malcolm Arnold
« Reply #324 on: October 22, 2017, 06:28:30 PM »
The 7th is indeed one of Arnold's most important works. I'd be hard put to express a preference btw 4, 5, 6, 7 and 9. I could place them in any order depending on the time of the day or the weather outside  :D.

Offline Archaic Torso of Apollo

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Re: sir Malcolm Arnold
« Reply #325 on: October 22, 2017, 06:38:21 PM »
7 is the only one I really like. [...] his mental state at the time evidently made him unusually receptive to such an existentialist and even nihilistic view of music.

I think I said earlier that when I first heard it, I thought "this is a musical record of someone's nervous breakdown." A really unsettling piece. Keep the light on while listening.
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Offline snyprrr

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Re: sir Malcolm Arnold BRASS QUINTET
« Reply #326 on: October 23, 2017, 07:24:07 AM »
Enjoyed the Brass Quintet yesterday (PJBE)
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Offline Archaic Torso of Apollo

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Re: sir Malcolm Arnold BRASS QUINTET
« Reply #327 on: October 23, 2017, 02:31:39 PM »
Enjoyed the Brass Quintet yesterday (PJBE)

Yes, that's a good one. I have it on this excellent sampler disc:



BTW there is apparently a second brass 5tet. However, I've never seen a recording of it.
formerly VELIMIR (before that, Spitvalve)

"Who knows not strict counterpoint, lives and dies an ignoramus" - CPE Bach

Offline Christo

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Re: sir Malcolm Arnold
« Reply #328 on: October 23, 2017, 10:05:33 PM »
The 7th is indeed one of Arnold's most important works. I'd be hard put to express a preference btw 4, 5, 6, 7 and 9. I could place them in any order depending on the time of the day or the weather outside  :D.
Exactly my favourites too.  :)
… 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 #329 on: October 24, 2017, 04:39:45 AM »
My favourites,too. Although,I like them all,really;in the sense that I don't feel that any one of them has wasted my time. And they just make a very satisfying cycle. The eighth is the weakest one,for me. But even that begins well (I like the tune!). Inspiration seems more thin on the ground,after that! And then Arnold surprises me,by ending his cycle with one of his most absorbing and fascinating creations!

Offline kyjo

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Re: sir Malcolm Arnold
« Reply #330 on: October 24, 2017, 06:06:01 AM »
My favourites,too. Although,I like them all,really;in the sense that I don't feel that any one of them has wasted my time. And they just make a very satisfying cycle. The eighth is the weakest one,for me. But even that begins well (I like the tune!). Inspiration seems more thin on the ground,after that! And then Arnold surprises me,by ending his cycle with one of his most absorbing and fascinating creations!

+1 As with the symphonic cycles of Mahler, Sibelius, RVW, and Nielsen, the Arnold cycle really takes the listener on a complex journey (although, admittedly, a more unevenly inspired one in Arnold's case).
"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music" - Sergei Rachmaninoff

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: sir Malcolm Arnold
« Reply #331 on: October 24, 2017, 07:07:57 AM »
+1 As with the symphonic cycles of Mahler, Sibelius, RVW, and Nielsen, the Arnold cycle really takes the listener on a complex journey (although, admittedly, a more unevenly inspired one in Arnold's case).

Arnold’s symphonies are interesting, but I wouldn’t put them in the same company as those composers.
“I really would like to go to Marmorkirken. It was there that I heard music for the first time, and that experience is like a heavenly vision for me.” - Rued Langgaard

Offline kyjo

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Re: sir Malcolm Arnold
« Reply #332 on: October 24, 2017, 08:08:36 AM »
Arnold’s symphonies are interesting, but I wouldn’t put them in the same company as those composers.

Oh, I wouldn't either! I was just saying that the sense of "journey" and development over the course of Arnold's symphonic cycle is similar to that of the composers I mentioned.
"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music" - Sergei Rachmaninoff

Offline kyjo

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Re: Sir Malcolm Arnold
« Reply #333 on: October 24, 2017, 08:38:44 AM »
So what are everyone's favorite Arnold compositions outside of the symphonies? I must confess I'm pretty unfamiliar with the rest of his output, but I've started listening to his orchestral dances which are absolutely delightful.
"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music" - Sergei Rachmaninoff

Offline Christo

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Re: Sir Malcolm Arnold
« Reply #334 on: October 24, 2017, 10:16:19 AM »
So what are everyone's favorite Arnold compositions outside of the symphonies? I must confess I'm pretty unfamiliar with the rest of his output, but I've started listening to his orchestral dances which are absolutely delightful.
I know only a part of his big oeuvre, was always to lazy to try them all. But some personal faves are:

From his concertos:
      Guitar Concerto, Op. 67 (1959) - his finest, IMO
      Serenade for Guitar and Strings, Op. 50 (1955) - small but great
      Flute Concerto No. 1 (Op. 45, 1954)
      Flute Concerto No. 2 (Op. 111, 1972)
Some orchestral pieces:
     Serenade for Small Orchestra, Op. 26 (1950)
     Philharmonic Concerto, Op. 120 (1976)
The Dance Suites: (both the Chandos and Naxos compilation CDs are fine): 
     English Dances, Set 1, Op. 27 (1950)
     English Dances, Set 2, Op. 33 (1951)
     Four Scottish Dances, Op. 59 (1957)
     Four Cornish Dances, Op. 91 (1966)
     Four Irish Dances, Op. 126 (1986)
     Four Welsh Dances, Op. 138 (1988)
The Sinfoniettas:
     Sinfonietta No. 1, Op. 48 (1954)
     Sinfonietta No. 2, Op. 65 (1958)
     Sinfonietta No. 3, Op. 81 (1964)
The Divertimentos:
     Divertimento No. 1, Op. 1 (1945)
     Divertimento No. 2, Op. 24 (1950), revised as Op. 75 (1961)
… 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 kyjo

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Re: Sir Malcolm Arnold
« Reply #335 on: October 25, 2017, 11:32:02 AM »
I know only a part of his big oeuvre, was always to lazy to try them all. But some personal faves are:

From his concertos:
      Guitar Concerto, Op. 67 (1959) - his finest, IMO
      Serenade for Guitar and Strings, Op. 50 (1955) - small but great
      Flute Concerto No. 1 (Op. 45, 1954)
      Flute Concerto No. 2 (Op. 111, 1972)
Some orchestral pieces:
     Serenade for Small Orchestra, Op. 26 (1950)
     Philharmonic Concerto, Op. 120 (1976)
The Dance Suites: (both the Chandos and Naxos compilation CDs are fine): 
     English Dances, Set 1, Op. 27 (1950)
     English Dances, Set 2, Op. 33 (1951)
     Four Scottish Dances, Op. 59 (1957)
     Four Cornish Dances, Op. 91 (1966)
     Four Irish Dances, Op. 126 (1986)
     Four Welsh Dances, Op. 138 (1988)
The Sinfoniettas:
     Sinfonietta No. 1, Op. 48 (1954)
     Sinfonietta No. 2, Op. 65 (1958)
     Sinfonietta No. 3, Op. 81 (1964)
The Divertimentos:
     Divertimento No. 1, Op. 1 (1945)
     Divertimento No. 2, Op. 24 (1950), revised as Op. 75 (1961)

Thanks very much Johan - those should keep me busy for a while! :)
"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music" - Sergei Rachmaninoff

Offline Sergeant Rock

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Re: Sir Malcolm Arnold
« Reply #336 on: October 25, 2017, 11:40:10 AM »
So what are everyone's favorite Arnold compositions outside of the symphonies? I must confess I'm pretty unfamiliar with the rest of his output, but I've started listening to his orchestral dances which are absolutely delightful.

The first Arnold piece I ever heard was the Tam O'Shanter Overture. Great fun, and proof that one can depict a drunkard in music  ;D

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."
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Offline André

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Re: sir Malcolm Arnold
« Reply #337 on: October 25, 2017, 11:47:46 AM »
Tam O’Shanter is a hoot ! It’s been recorded a few times. Actually, his overtures are almost as good as any of Dvorak’s or Sibelius’ tone poems, which they are in all but name (they all depict places or events). The Rumon Gamba disc is comprehensive - although not complete - but his feel for the music is generic compared to the composer’s own performances. Go for it by all means (it’s available used for less than 6$):



As for Tam O’Shanter, the Naxos disc under Paul Daniel is my reference.

Offline relm1

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Re: sir Malcolm Arnold
« Reply #338 on: April 19, 2018, 04:46:45 PM »
Question: If you had a friend who was reluctant to take on Arnold as a "serious" composer, what work would you show them to demonstrate that is a misconception given his quirky reputation?

Offline arpeggio

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Re: sir Malcolm Arnold
« Reply #339 on: April 19, 2018, 05:35:58 PM »
For me it would be any of his symphonies.