Author Topic: Richard Arnell (1917-2009)  (Read 25594 times)

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Offline Lethevich

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Re: Richard Arnell (1917-2009)
« Reply #160 on: March 19, 2011, 07:37:25 AM »
His symphonies are well-discussed, but based on the "world premiere recordings" note, Arnell's string quartets seem to be rather lesser-known.



I wonder how they sound? The Keller comment in the notes is interesting - in general that guy knew what he was talking about.
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Offline Dashiell2007

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Re: Richard Arnell (1917-2009)
« Reply #161 on: July 13, 2013, 11:19:29 AM »
I've just joined after reading the entire thread about Arnell. I have been bowled over by him in the past year and I'm hoping with so much more music now released from Dutton we can get a bit more discussion going.
I must say the symphony I have listened to most often is the 4th, particularly the first movt. I am filled with emotion every time the brass start playing those rising figures about 2 thirds of the way through. I remember when I first heard it I played the first movt. for a week over and over before moving on. Imagine how thrilled I was to discover such a lyrical and enigmatic slow movt.

Anyway, I have just got hold of the Unnumbered Symphonies disc which hasn't been mentioned here and thought I'd share my thoughts so far.
I've been lsitening to the Dagenham Symphony and the Sinfonia mainly and am enjoying both. In their why they both add something new to my understanding of Arnell. The Dagenham is full of such wonderfully orchestrated ideas and as I'm always interested in structural devices I love the way the piano part seems to be used to comment on the journey taken by the orchestra rather than joining in. I'm also fascinated by the final march. I'm always thrilled to see how composers use march within a larger structure as I great fan of Brian. Here we get a wonderfully original take on the age old idea. Each time you think you're in for a trio like tune Arnell pulls the rug from under you with the flick on harmony. Great stuff.

Hope there's still people out there to renew this thread. There's lots to talk about. The Chamber music, Yates' completion of the 7th.
Anyone?

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Richard Arnell (1917-2009)
« Reply #162 on: July 14, 2013, 01:16:12 AM »
I've just joined after reading the entire thread about Arnell. I have been bowled over by him in the past year and I'm hoping with so much more music now released from Dutton we can get a bit more discussion going.
I must say the symphony I have listened to most often is the 4th, particularly the first movt. I am filled with emotion every time the brass start playing those rising figures about 2 thirds of the way through. I remember when I first heard it I played the first movt. for a week over and over before moving on. Imagine how thrilled I was to discover such a lyrical and enigmatic slow movt.

Anyway, I have just got hold of the Unnumbered Symphonies disc which hasn't been mentioned here and thought I'd share my thoughts so far.
I've been lsitening to the Dagenham Symphony and the Sinfonia mainly and am enjoying both. In their why they both add something new to my understanding of Arnell. The Dagenham is full of such wonderfully orchestrated ideas and as I'm always interested in structural devices I love the way the piano part seems to be used to comment on the journey taken by the orchestra rather than joining in. I'm also fascinated by the final march. I'm always thrilled to see how composers use march within a larger structure as I great fan of Brian. Here we get a wonderfully original take on the age old idea. Each time you think you're in for a trio like tune Arnell pulls the rug from under you with the flick on harmony. Great stuff.

Hope there's still people out there to renew this thread. There's lots to talk about. The Chamber music, Yates' completion of the 7th.
Anyone?

Dashiell2007,

Firstly welcome to the forum!

And thanks for reviving this thread. I am a great admirer of this composer. Obtaining the epic Symphony 3 was a revelation to me and I enjoyed all the subsequent Dutton releases of the symphonies. Apart from No 3 I also love No 5 - especially when the 'big tune' returns towards the end - a wonderful movement. I haven't got my head round the Symphony No 7 yes, but I liked the CD with symphonies 1 and 6 on. No 3 would have been a great work for the Proms, but this is wishful thinking. At least Arnell lived long enough to see Martin Yates record his earlier symphonies. I have to say that I did not make much of the 'Dagenham Symphony' disc but the chamber music I found very enjoyable but must listen to it again, so that my comments can be better informed.

Anyway, I hope that you enjoy your membership of this forum as much as I have.

"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline Dashiell2007

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Re: Richard Arnell (1917-2009)
« Reply #163 on: July 14, 2013, 03:05:52 AM »
I know what you mean about the Dagenham disc. I was disappointed the first time I listened but after repeated listenings it began to grow on my. Particularly the Sinfonia which I find I listen to a great deal.

As for the Symphony 1 and 6 disc. I loved the 6th from the moment I heard it but still can't quite get into the 1st.

I'm going to listen to the 3rd for I few days not in order to post a more detailed account of my thoughts.

Thanks for the welcome. I'm looking forward to sharing my thoughts on some lesser known composers. At present I am exploring Arnell, David Matthews, Alan Bush, Armstrong Gibbs, Grace Williams & George Lloyd.

Cheers!

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Richard Arnell (1917-2009)
« Reply #164 on: July 14, 2013, 04:04:36 AM »
I know what you mean about the Dagenham disc. I was disappointed the first time I listened but after repeated listenings it began to grow on my. Particularly the Sinfonia which I find I listen to a great deal.

As for the Symphony 1 and 6 disc. I loved the 6th from the moment I heard it but still can't quite get into the 1st.

I'm going to listen to the 3rd for I few days not in order to post a more detailed account of my thoughts.

Thanks for the welcome. I'm looking forward to sharing my thoughts on some lesser known composers. At present I am exploring Arnell, David Matthews, Alan Bush, Armstrong Gibbs, Grace Williams & George Lloyd.

Cheers!

Yes, I prefer Arnell's 6th too. I like all the composers you list. Especially Matthews Symphony 6, Bush No 2, Armstrong Gibbs 'Westmoreland', Williams Symphony 2 and Lloyd Nos 4,7,8 and 11.

Cheers!
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline Dashiell2007

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Re: Richard Arnell (1917-2009)
« Reply #165 on: July 14, 2013, 04:45:42 AM »
You just listed my favourite symphonies by all those composers. No kidding.
Particularly Armstrong Gibbs 3rd. And the Bush 2nd is particularly a given as I
was born and live in Nottinghamshire.

Offline cilgwyn

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Re: Richard Arnell (1917-2009)
« Reply #166 on: July 14, 2013, 05:23:46 AM »
Walter Gaze Cooper (1895-1981),prolific composer,founder and conductor of the Nottingham Symphony Orchestra is another one. His Fourth Symphony 'The West Wind' with a humming chorus,sounds particularly intriguing;as do all his eight  extant symphonies,Concertos & other works. His music was broadcast many years ago. The poor sound & quality of some of the performances at the AMF Forum aren't much help! One for an enterprising small cd label to unearth. It would be a change from more York Bowen. (Cameo Classics have recorded one or two pieces).
Of course,he may be crap? But it all sounds rather intriguing!
Interesting name too! Is it real,or assumed,like 'Havergal' (Brian)? And here's the big man at the keyboard with some of his pupils!


Offline vandermolen

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Re: Richard Arnell (1917-2009)
« Reply #167 on: July 14, 2013, 02:52:35 PM »
You just listed my favourite symphonies by all those composers. No kidding.
Particularly Armstrong Gibbs 3rd. And the Bush 2nd is particularly a given as I
was born and live in Nottinghamshire.

I love the inspiriting end of the Bush Symphony 2.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Richard Arnell (1917-2009)
« Reply #168 on: July 14, 2013, 02:56:03 PM »
Walter Gaze Cooper (1895-1981),prolific composer,founder and conductor of the Nottingham Symphony Orchestra is another one. His Fourth Symphony 'The West Wind' with a humming chorus,sounds particularly intriguing;as do all his eight  extant symphonies,Concertos & other works. His music was broadcast many years ago. The poor sound & quality of some of the performances at the AMF Forum aren't much help! One for an enterprising small cd label to unearth. It would be a change from more York Bowen. (Cameo Classics have recorded one or two pieces).
Of course,he may be crap? But it all sounds rather intriguing!
Interesting name too! Is it real,or assumed,like 'Havergal' (Brian)? And here's the big man at the keyboard with some of his pupils!




I have heard of Gaze Cooper and it sounds intriguing and probably more interesting than York Bowen. Dorothy Howell's 'Lamia' was a fine discovery for me on Cameo Classics.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

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Re: Richard Arnell (1917-2009)
« Reply #169 on: July 15, 2013, 06:36:01 PM »
Dashiell2007 & vandermolen

Great to read the enthusiasm for those mid-century symphonic figures while the continentals, though not the Russians were going off in their crazy directions. I've also explored many of those composers and works but Arnold's Third symphony is really not a strong work, meandering and looking for the next melodic-orchestral tangle rather than much overall sense of where the music is supposed to be going. I took it to be pretty congested and scatterbrained.

His orchestral Punch and the child is more convincing.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Richard Arnell (1917-2009)
« Reply #170 on: July 16, 2013, 12:02:45 AM »
Dashiell2007 & vandermolen

Great to read the enthusiasm for those mid-century symphonic figures while the continentals, though not the Russians were going off in their crazy directions. I've also explored many of those composers and works but Arnold's Third symphony is really not a strong work, meandering and looking for the next melodic-orchestral tangle rather than much overall sense of where the music is supposed to be going. I took it to be pretty congested and scatterbrained.

His orchestral Punch and the child is more convincing.

Presume you mean Arnell rather than Arnold (whose Third Symphony I like too!) I tend to respond to works which move me emotionally, which is certainly the case in Arnell's symphonies 3 and 5 - yes, they can be a bit rambling and perhaps the structure could be tighter in places, but in the end that is what matters to me. For example I prefer the more rambling 1913 version of 'A London Symphony' by Vaughan Williams than the more tightly structured 1936 version (presumably influenced by the example of Sibelius). VW excised the most poetic moment in the Symphony (in my view) just before the end; so what it gained in concision did not, for me, compensate for the removal of moments of intense poetic expression.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline Dashiell2007

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Re: Richard Arnell (1917-2009)
« Reply #171 on: July 16, 2013, 08:31:23 AM »
I have to say that I found Arnell 3 rambling on first hearing but it did move me emotionally. Particularly the end of the 2nd 3rd and 6th movt. But on repeated hearings I find that the powerful emotion of the end of these movts comes from the developmental journey they take. I look to listen to music which shows a commanding sense of developmental techniques and for me there is nothing better than Arnell 3 for this. The end of the second movt which always gives me chills comes around from the final brass calls which have developed out of the chorle like 2nd subject but were not in the same form when the subject first appeared. Again, for me it is listening to the journey to this point that moves me.
I'm going to stop now as I'm planning to post about my thoughts about this great symphony when I have listened to it a few more times.

Cheers!

Sean

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Re: Richard Arnell (1917-2009)
« Reply #172 on: July 17, 2013, 06:57:44 AM »
Sure thing Dashiell.

Sean

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Re: Richard Arnell (1917-2009)
« Reply #173 on: July 17, 2013, 07:03:11 AM »
And my regrets for my other post.

Offline cilgwyn

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Re: Richard Arnell (1917-2009)
« Reply #174 on: August 11, 2017, 08:20:29 AM »
I have just joined this forum having, quite accidentally, discovered its existence whilst doing a Google search for references to Arnell!
I had no idea that Dutton had just released Symphonies Nos.4 and 5. Needless to say I have immediately ordered the CD!
I must confess to being bowled over by the energy and elan of the Piano Concerto and emailed the soloist, David Owen Norris, to congratulate him on rescuing such a refreshing work.

I had been waiting with keen anticipation for Toccata to release the (Arizona) Musica Viva Orchestra's recordings of the Arnell symphonies. Does anyone know what happened to this plan? Anyway, Dutton seem to have stolen a march on any other companies by using a self-confessed devotee in Martin Yates and the RSNO to record these long-overdue works and I, for one, am extremely grateful to that most enterprising company! (Who else would have recently issued the Bainton 2nd and Boughton 1st? Well, I suppose, at one time Chandos might have considered it.)

Delighted to have found this forum! I am afraid that I may use it to punt a number of my favourite under-rated composers! I have people like Peter Racine Fricker, William Wordsworth, Arnold Cooke, Daniel Jones, Alun Hoddinott in mind amongst English composers and the-sadly under-recorded-Hilding Rosenberg amongst others. That however will be for future posts!

Look forward to contributing!
Wow! Was this really Dundonnell's first post?!! ??? ;D I miss his contributions;but he's still posting at the Art Music Forum.

I ordered these s/h copies of these two Dutton cds of Arnell's Ballet scores,a few days ago. I felt it was time I heard his Punch and the Child,which I have enjoyed very much in the Beecham recording,in stereo. I also have a Suite from The Great Detective in a fifties recording,conducted by the composer,on the emi cd,The Composer Conducts. This cd includes another Ballet,The Angels.

 

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Richard Arnell (1917-2009)
« Reply #175 on: August 11, 2017, 12:55:40 PM »
Wow! Was this really Dundonnell's first post?!! ??? ;D I miss his contributions;but he's still posting at the Art Music Forum.

I ordered these s/h copies of these two Dutton cds of Arnell's Ballet scores,a few days ago. I felt it was time I heard his Punch and the Child,which I have enjoyed very much in the Beecham recording,in stereo. I also have a Suite from The Great Detective in a fifties recording,conducted by the composer,on the emi cd,The Composer Conducts. This cd includes another Ballet,The Angels.

 
These are thoroughly entertaining works although it is to the symphonies, especially 3,4 and 5 that I keep returning as well as the fine CD of chamber music on Dutton.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline cilgwyn

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Re: Richard Arnell (1917-2009)
« Reply #176 on: August 12, 2017, 08:28:32 AM »
I've resisted the Dutton cd's of Arnell,so far. I've got to pay boring things like bills,and I'm running out of room,really;so certain composers are out of bounds! :( I decided to buy these though,as I've had the ancient old excerpts for a long time;and I decided I really would like to hear them in stereo sound. If these go down well;I probably won't be able to resist the symphonies you mention at some future date. I have heard his Piano Concerto. I taped it off the radio in the mid 90's,and recall being rather impressed.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Richard Arnell (1917-2009)
« Reply #177 on: August 12, 2017, 12:48:36 PM »
I've resisted the Dutton cd's of Arnell,so far. I've got to pay boring things like bills,and I'm running out of room,really;so certain composers are out of bounds! :( I decided to buy these though,as I've had the ancient old excerpts for a long time;and I decided I really would like to hear them in stereo sound. If these go down well;I probably won't be able to resist the symphonies you mention at some future date. I have heard his Piano Concerto. I taped it off the radio in the mid 90's,and recall being rather impressed.
The Piano Concerto is very good I agree.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline cilgwyn

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Re: Richard Arnell (1917-2009)
« Reply #178 on: August 13, 2017, 04:48:12 AM »
Actually,Punch and the Child are still in the post. Let's hope Mr Punch isn't delayed too long!! I listened to the cd of The Great Detective and The Angels. I rather like some of those British Ballet scores from that period. Berner's The Triumph of Neptune,Lambert's Romeo and Juliet,Horoscope,Tiresias and Pomona,Checkmate by Bliss,Miracle in the Gorbals;and,of course,Punch and the Child,which I knew,like most people,from the Beecham recording and,of course, The Great Detective by Arnell. The latter composer was,of course,the one most neglected,in terms of recording,until Dutton stepped in. Punch and the Child was the score I liked best;but as a seasoned cd collector,I couldn't just have one of the Ballet music cds,and not the other,could I?!!. Particularly,when The Great Detective cd has such colourful artwork!

The most obvious comparison for this music,is of course,Prokofiev. A bit of Stravinsky,perhaps? Anyway,it's all very propulsive and full of energy. Enjoyable listening. The Angels strikes me as the finest of the two scores, having some,genuinely, powerful moments. According to the booklet;while they were recording it,the engineers jokingly referred to it Arnell's Symphony No 5 . I think the only criticism I have of this music,is that it lacks what I would regard as genuinely memorable tunes and identifiable themes. I could also say the same thing about some of the music of Lambert. Bliss (and Berner's The Triumph of Neptune) on the other hand,all have some catchy tunes,that you can immediately identify with. Miracle in the Gorbals has one particular number,which always sets my feet tapping. It's my favourite bit! Prokofiev? Well,what can I say? He is recognised,the world over,as a great composer;so I will be kind and spare Arnell the comparison? (Although,I probably just did!). Punch and the Child is,on the other hand,quite a tuneful score,and not too long!! Those criticisms aside,I am attracted to the atmosphere,and flavour,if you like,of some of these Ballet scores,from that period. So the fact that I'm not going to be humming The Great Detective or The Angels over the kitchen wash basin,or whistling them down the street,as I walk,isn't really a big problem for me. I do have a bit of a problem with ballet music,anyway! Ballet music is composed for a ballet. It written to accompany dancing on stage;and I do think that listening to a ballet score on cd,is a bit like listening to a movie soundtrack. This is why I,generally,prefer suites. And let's face it,this is why composers extract music from ballets,and create suites;so as to make them more enoyable and palatable to an audience bereft of the action on stage. This is certainly why I prefer a suite or ballet;and generally avoid cd's of movie scores. Gripes aside,these are very interesting,and enjoyable releases. They certainly haven't wasted my time! I will wait until the other cd arrives;but the long absence of recordings of Arnell,except in ancient old recordings does seem like a big jigsaw with an important piece missing. If emi hadn't crashed like they did,I would like to think that they would have gone on to add an Arnell cd to their 'British Composers' catalogue. Thank goodness for Dutton,eh?

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Richard Arnell (1917-2009)
« Reply #179 on: August 13, 2017, 06:12:48 AM »
Actually,Punch and the Child are still in the post. Let's hope Mr Punch isn't delayed too long!! I listened to the cd of The Great Detective and The Angels. I rather like some of those British Ballet scores from that period. Berner's The Triumph of Neptune,Lambert's Romeo and Juliet,Horoscope,Tiresias and Pomona,Checkmate by Bliss,Miracle in the Gorbals;and,of course,Punch and the Child,which I knew,like most people,from the Beecham recording and,of course, The Great Detective by Arnell. The latter composer was,of course,the one most neglected,in terms of recording,until Dutton stepped in. Punch and the Child was the score I liked best;but as a seasoned cd collector,I couldn't just have one of the Ballet music cds,and not the other,could I?!!. Particularly,when The Great Detective cd has such colourful artwork!

The most obvious comparison for this music,is of course,Prokofiev. A bit of Stravinsky,perhaps? Anyway,it's all very propulsive and full of energy. Enjoyable listening. The Angels strikes me as the finest of the two scores, having some,genuinely, powerful moments. According to the booklet;while they were recording it,the engineers jokingly referred to it Arnell's Symphony No 5 . I think the only criticism I have of this music,is that it lacks what I would regard as genuinely memorable tunes and identifiable themes. I could also say the same thing about some of the music of Lambert. Bliss (and Berner's The Triumph of Neptune) on the other hand,all have some catchy tunes,that you can immediately identify with. Miracle in the Gorbals has one particular number,which always sets my feet tapping. It's my favourite bit! Prokofiev? Well,what can I say? He is recognised,the world over,as a great composer;so I will be kind and spare Arnell the comparison? (Although,I probably just did!). Punch and the Child is,on the other hand,quite a tuneful score,and not too long!! Those criticisms aside,I am attracted to the atmosphere,and flavour,if you like,of some of these Ballet scores,from that period. So the fact that I'm not going to be humming The Great Detective or The Angels over the kitchen wash basin,or whistling them down the street,as I walk,isn't really a big problem for me. I do have a bit of a problem with ballet music,anyway! Ballet music is composed for a ballet. It written to accompany dancing on stage;and I do think that listening to a ballet score on cd,is a bit like listening to a movie soundtrack. This is why I,generally,prefer suites. And let's face it,this is why composers extract music from ballets,and create suites;so as to make them more enoyable and palatable to an audience bereft of the action on stage. This is certainly why I prefer a suite or ballet;and generally avoid cd's of movie scores. Gripes aside,these are very interesting,and enjoyable releases. They certainly haven't wasted my time! I will wait until the other cd arrives;but the long absence of recordings of Arnell,except in ancient old recordings does seem like a big jigsaw with an important piece missing. If emi hadn't crashed like they did,I would like to think that they would have gone on to add an Arnell cd to their 'British Composers' catalogue. Thank goodness for Dutton,eh?
And, once again, thank you cilgwyn. I have these CDs as I loved Arnel's symphonies so much but have hardly listened to them - your posting has encouraged me to do so.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

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