Author Topic: sir Malcolm Arnold  (Read 90566 times)

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Offline André

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Re: sir Malcolm Arnold
« Reply #540 on: May 26, 2021, 08:32:46 AM »
That’s why he’s essential ! No Arnold, not enough doom !

Offline Roasted Swan

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Re: sir Malcolm Arnold
« Reply #541 on: May 26, 2021, 09:02:32 AM »
That’s why he’s essential ! No Arnold, not enough doom !

One for the UK readers.......

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WNNRL_IB9m0


Offline foxandpeng

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Re: sir Malcolm Arnold
« Reply #542 on: June 04, 2021, 05:50:49 AM »
Listening to Symphony 8 this morning, and the recurring melody in the first movement is now firmly stuck in my head and driving me nuts because every time I hear it, I'm unable to place what he is quoting.

Is this just pure Arnold, or is there a hymn refrain or particular piece he is referencing from elsewhere?

Also, would this recurrence be correctly described as an ostinato?

TIA 😁

Offline Roasted Swan

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Re: sir Malcolm Arnold
« Reply #543 on: June 04, 2021, 06:57:04 AM »
Listening to Symphony 8 this morning, and the recurring melody in the first movement is now firmly stuck in my head and driving me nuts because every time I hear it, I'm unable to place what he is quoting.

Is this just pure Arnold, or is there a hymn refrain or particular piece he is referencing from elsewhere?

Also, would this recurrence be correctly described as an ostinato?

TIA 😁

If its the little "whistleable tune" - the tune itself is a lift from his own filmscore for "The Reckoning"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Reckoning_(1970_film)#:~:text=The%20Reckoning%20is%20a%201969,features%20music%20by%20Malcolm%20Arnold.

Arnold lifts the melody exactly as is from film to symphony and in which there is an undercurrent of "Irish Pride"  and violence which led some commentators to infer an Irish Nationalist sympathy in Arnold's choice of melodic style - something he denied.  Piers Burton-Page in his book "Philharmonic Concerto - The Life & Music of Sir Malcolm Arnold" explains this in greater detail.  Certainly there would seem to be an undercurrent of 'meaning' to Arnold's creation of such a catchy ditty of a melody......

Offline foxandpeng

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Re: sir Malcolm Arnold
« Reply #544 on: June 04, 2021, 11:47:20 AM »
If its the little "whistleable tune" - the tune itself is a lift from his own filmscore for "The Reckoning"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Reckoning_(1970_film)#:~:text=The%20Reckoning%20is%20a%201969,features%20music%20by%20Malcolm%20Arnold.

Arnold lifts the melody exactly as is from film to symphony and in which there is an undercurrent of "Irish Pride"  and violence which led some commentators to infer an Irish Nationalist sympathy in Arnold's choice of melodic style - something he denied.  Piers Burton-Page in his book "Philharmonic Concerto - The Life & Music of Sir Malcolm Arnold" explains this in greater detail.  Certainly there would seem to be an undercurrent of 'meaning' to Arnold's creation of such a catchy ditty of a melody......

That's really interesting, thank you 😊. I have come to greatly appreciate Arnold's symphonies and information like this adds another layer again.

Offline André

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Re: sir Malcolm Arnold
« Reply #545 on: June 04, 2021, 03:12:08 PM »
Very interesting and pertinent indeed. Thanks, RS !

Offline kyjo

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Re: sir Malcolm Arnold
« Reply #546 on: June 04, 2021, 07:06:32 PM »
Once again I'm enamored by the majesty, warmth, and color of Arnold's Homage to the Queen ballet music:



This whole disc is fantastic, but Homage to the Queen is the standout for me. One of my favorite works by Arnold.
"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music" - Sergei Rachmaninoff

Offline vandermolen

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Re: sir Malcolm Arnold
« Reply #547 on: June 04, 2021, 09:11:43 PM »
My brother (who was at university with Arnold's son Bob) forwarded me this amusing anecdote from Arnold's obituary:

'While listening to his first symphony on R3’s Afternoon Concert I looked up Malcolm Arnold – clearly a very erratic character – online and found his Guardian obituary, which included this pleasing reminiscence from the obituarist:

 

In a concert in Manchester in the late 1960s, I boldly led the trombone section of the BBC Northern Symphony Orchestra (now the BBC Philharmonic) into the chords at the end of Tchaikovsky's Hamlet four bars too late, so that as Arnold finished conducting the piece, we carried on. He thought this was great fun, raised his baton again and continued to conduct with exaggerated gestures until we were done, finishing with as tragic an expression as he could manage through his stifled laughter.'

 
"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 foxandpeng

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Re: sir Malcolm Arnold
« Reply #548 on: June 06, 2021, 02:38:22 AM »
My brother (who was at university with Arnold's son Bob) forwarded me this amusing anecdote from Arnold's obituary:

'While listening to his first symphony on R3’s Afternoon Concert I looked up Malcolm Arnold – clearly a very erratic character – online and found his Guardian obituary, which included this pleasing reminiscence from the obituarist:

 

In a concert in Manchester in the late 1960s, I boldly led the trombone section of the BBC Northern Symphony Orchestra (now the BBC Philharmonic) into the chords at the end of Tchaikovsky's Hamlet four bars too late, so that as Arnold finished conducting the piece, we carried on. He thought this was great fun, raised his baton again and continued to conduct with exaggerated gestures until we were done, finishing with as tragic an expression as he could manage through his stifled laughter.'

 


He seems to have been massively colourful, with all of the extremes that brought with it. Reminiscent of Ted Hughes in some regards - similarly complex, profoundly memorable, but undoubtedly difficult for those close to him.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: sir Malcolm Arnold
« Reply #549 on: June 06, 2021, 03:24:27 AM »
He seems to have been massively colourful, with all of the extremes that brought with it. Reminiscent of Ted Hughes in some regards - similarly complex, profoundly memorable, but undoubtedly difficult for those close to him.
Yes, I'm sure you are right.
"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 Symphonic Addict

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Re: sir Malcolm Arnold
« Reply #550 on: June 06, 2021, 01:45:01 PM »
Once again I'm enamored by the majesty, warmth, and color of Arnold's Homage to the Queen ballet music:



This whole disc is fantastic, but Homage to the Queen is the standout for me. One of my favorite works by Arnold.

The complete ballet was one of my latest revelations by this composer:



It's in very good mono.
Give us something else; give us something new; for Heaven's sake give us something bad, so long as we feel we are alive and active and not just passive admirers of tradition!

Carl Nielsen

Offline kyjo

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Re: sir Malcolm Arnold
« Reply #551 on: June 08, 2021, 07:09:15 PM »
The complete ballet was one of my latest revelations by this composer:



It's in very good mono.

I greatly look forward to hearing the whole ballet!
"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music" - Sergei Rachmaninoff

Offline relm1

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Re: sir Malcolm Arnold
« Reply #552 on: June 09, 2021, 05:04:56 AM »
My brother (who was at university with Arnold's son Bob) forwarded me this amusing anecdote from Arnold's obituary:

'While listening to his first symphony on R3’s Afternoon Concert I looked up Malcolm Arnold – clearly a very erratic character – online and found his Guardian obituary, which included this pleasing reminiscence from the obituarist:

 

In a concert in Manchester in the late 1960s, I boldly led the trombone section of the BBC Northern Symphony Orchestra (now the BBC Philharmonic) into the chords at the end of Tchaikovsky's Hamlet four bars too late, so that as Arnold finished conducting the piece, we carried on. He thought this was great fun, raised his baton again and continued to conduct with exaggerated gestures until we were done, finishing with as tragic an expression as he could manage through his stifled laughter.'

 


What a charming story!  :laugh:

Offline vandermolen

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Re: sir Malcolm Arnold
« Reply #553 on: June 09, 2021, 10:42:37 PM »
What a charming story!  :laugh:
Yes, it made me laugh too!
"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 Carshot

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Re: sir Malcolm Arnold
« Reply #554 on: July 05, 2021, 07:22:49 AM »
For any who missed it there is a fascinating programme about Arnold's score for "The Bridge on the River Kwai" on iPlayer. Sixty minutes including a performance by the BBC Concert Orchestra. Much recommended.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m00041td/discovering-series-1-3-the-bridge-on-the-river-kwai-malcolm-arnold


Offline foxandpeng

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Re: sir Malcolm Arnold
« Reply #555 on: July 21, 2021, 03:42:46 AM »
Not a fan of Palmer’s films, but for those that want to see it, his Arnold documentary has been uploaded via YouTube in its entirety:

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/uZsuYbn8DaE" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/uZsuYbn8DaE</a>

I took time to watch this film on the life of Malcolm Arnold last night, and found it illuminating and really quite powerful. I appreciate that not everyone would find it helpful to see some of his more distressed and less lucid scenes, but as a perspective on the life of this remarkable man, it is very instructive. I've got to know Arnold's symphonies in the last 2 - 3 months, and some of his film music and other pieces, and rate him extremely highly. It certainly brings home the distinction between the character of a person and the art that they create, and in a cultural climate where grave moral offences or socially unacceptable opinions or behaviour can condemn an artist to obscurity or periphery, is a reminder that art stands apart.

Listening to Rumon Gamba's interpretation of Symphony 1 at the moment on Youtube, and it is excellent.

Offline relm1

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Re: sir Malcolm Arnold
« Reply #556 on: July 21, 2021, 04:50:29 AM »
I took time to watch this film on the life of Malcolm Arnold last night, and found it illuminating and really quite powerful. I appreciate that not everyone would find it helpful to see some of his more distressed and less lucid scenes, but as a perspective on the life of this remarkable man, it is very instructive. I've got to know Arnold's symphonies in the last 2 - 3 months, and some of his film music and other pieces, and rate him extremely highly. It certainly brings home the distinction between the character of a person and the art that they create, and in a cultural climate where grave moral offences or socially unacceptable opinions or behaviour can condemn an artist to obscurity or periphery, is a reminder that art stands apart.

Listening to Rumon Gamba's interpretation of Symphony 1 at the moment on Youtube, and it is excellent.

I agree, it's a very fine documentary and illuminating to see him at the final stages of his life.  This doesn't distress me but helps round out the story of the man.  Estranged, a bit forgotten at the end of a very long and productive life.  Still a mystery to those that loved him (his kids).  But I felt it did a great job of taking us through the journey - warts and all - of this major composer.

Offline foxandpeng

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Re: sir Malcolm Arnold
« Reply #557 on: July 21, 2021, 11:47:18 AM »
I agree, it's a very fine documentary and illuminating to see him at the final stages of his life.  This doesn't distress me but helps round out the story of the man.  Estranged, a bit forgotten at the end of a very long and productive life.  Still a mystery to those that loved him (his kids).  But I felt it did a great job of taking us through the journey - warts and all - of this major composer.

Bearing in mind his early schizophrenia diagnosis, it would be interesting to read an up to date examination of his life that is more sympathetic to issues of neurodiversity and unmedicated mood swings/mania/depression. It wouldn't exonerate his behaviour, but it may allow history a more tempered, and in time, a more favourable assessment of his extremities.

As with many who are neurodiverse, I have little doubt that his creativity, intensity of activity, and financial/sexual/addictive tendencies were all tied in.

Perhaps such considerations have already been made in published works, and I am simply unaware. In any case, it bears some pondering.

Offline Roasted Swan

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Re: sir Malcolm Arnold
« Reply #558 on: July 21, 2021, 01:39:24 PM »
I was not comfortable with the filming of those sequences - or at least their inclusion in the documentary.  I don't need visual "proof" that Arnold was suffering from a condition and neither do I require that as an explanation for aspects of his behaviour historically.  I simply know that if it was me or a relative of mine I would not want it shown to the world - especially if I was not in a position to make an informed decision on my own behalf.

Offline relm1

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Re: sir Malcolm Arnold
« Reply #559 on: July 21, 2021, 03:59:24 PM »
I was not comfortable with the filming of those sequences - or at least their inclusion in the documentary.  I don't need visual "proof" that Arnold was suffering from a condition and neither do I require that as an explanation for aspects of his behaviour historically.  I simply know that if it was me or a relative of mine I would not want it shown to the world - especially if I was not in a position to make an informed decision on my own behalf.

What is your thought of seeing Kurt Douglass as the mighty gladiator in Spartacus in the height of his prowess and seeing him after his stroke as a disabled man with limited mobility?  Should others not be allowed to see this once mighty warrior as a crippled if you are "don't need visual "proof" that he becomes broken mortal?  I hope this doesn't come across as rude, I don't mean it to be.  My dad was a mighty tough guy, a military man who eventually became broken and lame in his dying moments.  That was life.  It isn't a bad thing and not something others should dictate what the image of their life should be.  It is what life is.  A process of dying and not everyone is that comfortable with it.  If you don't like that, then you sort of need to deal with it.  It is life. 
« Last Edit: July 21, 2021, 04:03:01 PM by relm1 »