Author Topic: sir Malcolm Arnold  (Read 97799 times)

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Offline vandermolen

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Re: sir Malcolm Arnold
« Reply #640 on: November 15, 2021, 12:11:02 AM »
The reason this is bullshit is the exact same could be said about any major composer's final work.  Take Shostakovich No. 15 where he quotes random works from his youth.  The publisher could say he didn't go in the dark direction of the 14th and the 15th proved evidence of mental decline.   Same with RVW No. 9.  This is a major assertion with no evidence and should be challenged.
Interesting point. Prokofiev's 7th Symphony (which I think highly of) is sometimes regarded in this way as well.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline relm1

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Re: sir Malcolm Arnold
« Reply #641 on: November 15, 2021, 07:11:39 AM »
Interesting point. Prokofiev's 7th Symphony (which I think highly of) is sometimes regarded in this way as well.

Yes, definitely a good example.  Any composer who pushes their creative boundary will be perplexing when that cycle comes to an end because each work has a sort of "different approach".  I love Arnold's symphonies and find them all quite individual.  Just imagine if he had died at No. 7, which is probably his darkest, couldn't the same claim apply that he was in a declining mental place and lost his spirited youthfulness in that work.  The accusation is sort of challenge proof because any good composer develops themselves over time.  If they aren't, then they are repeating themself which is worse...that's as if they have nothing more to say but keep saying it.  Maybe that reviewer was up against a deadline and just had to run with their initial impressions.

Offline aligreto

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Re: sir Malcolm Arnold
« Reply #642 on: January 17, 2022, 01:52:55 PM »
I have a very limited exposure to Malcolm Arnold's music. I plan to listen to more of it in 2022. I have already started with this CD [Arnold Overtures] conducted by the composer himself:





Sussex Overture: This is lively, upbeat and tuneful music that is well presented here. The music is well orchestrated with much orchestral colour on show. Arnold was making sure that his music was being portrayed to best advantage here. It is well played and recorded and he was in total control. Good for him.

Beckus The Dandipratt: I like the overall tone, atmosphere and musical language of this work. On the surface there is a quirky air of levity about it but its foundation is based on a slightly disconcerting and menacing tone.

The Smoke: This is another interesting and engaging Arnold work with regard to musical language, overall dynamics and the sense of atmosphere in the music. This is a very fine musical composition.

The Fair Field: This is definitely atmospheric and evocative music which will hopefully evoke good memories in some listeners' consciousness. It is a fine piece of writing and, once again, is well scored.

Commonwealth Christmas Overture: This work opens in quite a festive mood [including the relevant bells] which is, to be honest, quite twee but the music soon develops into something more meaningful. It is an interesting work, up to a point; at some points it is celebratory and at others it is quite contemplative [not that the two need be mutually exclusive] and one could look at it globally as a sort of a variation on an annual theme. The scoring in the central section certainly raised one of my eyebrows. As I progressed through the work my ultimate conclusion was that it was banal, urbane and unexciting overall.

It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and leave no doubt.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: sir Malcolm Arnold
« Reply #643 on: January 18, 2022, 12:59:45 AM »
I have a very limited exposure to Malcolm Arnold's music. I plan to listen to more of it in 2022. I have already started with this CD [Arnold Overtures] conducted by the composer himself:





Sussex Overture: This is lively, upbeat and tuneful music that is well presented here. The music is well orchestrated with much orchestral colour on show. Arnold was making sure that his music was being portrayed to best advantage here. It is well played and recorded and he was in total control. Good for him.

Beckus The Dandipratt: I like the overall tone, atmosphere and musical language of this work. On the surface there is a quirky air of levity about it but its foundation is based on a slightly disconcerting and menacing tone.

The Smoke: This is another interesting and engaging Arnold work with regard to musical language, overall dynamics and the sense of atmosphere in the music. This is a very fine musical composition.

The Fair Field: This is definitely atmospheric and evocative music which will hopefully evoke good memories in some listeners' consciousness. It is a fine piece of writing and, once again, is well scored.

Commonwealth Christmas Overture: This work opens in quite a festive mood [including the relevant bells] which is, to be honest, quite twee but the music soon develops into something more meaningful. It is an interesting work, up to a point; at some points it is celebratory and at others it is quite contemplative [not that the two need be mutually exclusive] and one could look at it globally as a sort of a variation on an annual theme. The scoring in the central section certainly raised one of my eyebrows. As I progressed through the work my ultimate conclusion was that it was banal, urbane and unexciting overall.
Interesting review - thanks Fergus.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline aligreto

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Re: sir Malcolm Arnold
« Reply #644 on: Today at 03:00:53 AM »
Interesting review - thanks Fergus.

Cheers Jeffrey. I am looking forward to further exploration.
It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and leave no doubt.