Author Topic: sir Malcolm Arnold  (Read 94899 times)

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Online Roasted Swan

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Re: sir Malcolm Arnold
« Reply #600 on: October 04, 2021, 06:02:04 AM »
Arnold: Dances [Penny]





Four Irish Dances Op. 126
Four Welsh Dances Op. 138


Although again stylised, I do readily recognise the essential musical language in the Irish dances and slow airs. The choice of individual scoring is appropriate and somewhat representative of type here.
I like the Welsh dances. They are filled with passion, atmosphere, emotion, agitation and turbulence. The scoring is also very fine and varied and is engrossing.

As far as I'm aware still the only recording of the Welsh Dances.  As ever with Arnold - if you can check out Arnold conducting Arnold, his Lyrita dsics of the Dances (except Welsh) is really fine......

Offline aligreto

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Re: sir Malcolm Arnold
« Reply #601 on: October 09, 2021, 02:36:56 AM »
As far as I'm aware still the only recording of the Welsh Dances.  As ever with Arnold - if you can check out Arnold conducting Arnold, his Lyrita dsics of the Dances (except Welsh) is really fine......

Thank you for the recommendation.
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Online Maestro267

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Re: sir Malcolm Arnold
« Reply #602 on: October 09, 2021, 05:29:17 AM »
We're approaching the centenary of Arnold's birth, on October 21st, 12 days away as I write, if people want to make listening plans.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: sir Malcolm Arnold
« Reply #603 on: October 09, 2021, 12:08:22 PM »
We're approaching the centenary of Arnold's birth, on October 21st, 12 days away as I write, if people want to make listening plans.
My father would have been 100 on 20th October.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: sir Malcolm Arnold
« Reply #604 on: October 09, 2021, 07:31:54 PM »
We're approaching the centenary of Arnold's birth, on October 21st, 12 days away as I write, if people want to make listening plans.

Sure. I'll do an Arnold-a-thon on the 21st. 8)
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Online Maestro267

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Re: sir Malcolm Arnold
« Reply #605 on: October 20, 2021, 11:34:57 PM »
Alas, today is the big day! Happy 100th, Sir Malcolm!

Offline Carshot

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Re: sir Malcolm Arnold
« Reply #606 on: October 23, 2021, 10:02:21 AM »
Sir Malcolm's centenary is celebrated by Naxos! Does anyone know if this is a re-boxed re-issue or anything different (re-mastered?) to that originally issued?

https://naxosdirect.co.uk/items/malcolm-arnold-complete-symphonies-and-dances-centenary-edition-567063?utm_source=Naxos_News&utm_medium=ecard&utm_content=Arnold-Complete-Symphonies-Dances_cd&utm_campaign=NaxosUK-NDUK-Ecard102021

Offline André

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Re: sir Malcolm Arnold
« Reply #607 on: October 23, 2021, 11:08:14 AM »
Same performances, probably not remastered, because 1) they’re recent recordings (1995-2000) and 2) the box would loudly proclaim it otherwise  :D. This is the second time the symphonies are repackaged by Naxos in a slimline box. This time around they added the Dances, a swell idea: great stuff, in superb performances and sound. If you don’t already have the individual issues, go for it. If you do, go for it all the same and save space on your shelves - I did that when the  ‘white box’ came out: sold the individual discs and replaced them with this:



Offline vandermolen

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Re: sir Malcolm Arnold
« Reply #608 on: October 27, 2021, 09:08:39 AM »
I listened to the BBC Radio 4 programme about Arnold. It was ok but nothing special and didn't tell me anything new. I didn't see the point of interviewing a psychiatrist who had never met Arnold. I thought that, by far, the most interesting interviewee was Arnold's daughter Catherine. Notwithstanding his mental illness Arnold was obviously, at times, a deeply unpleasant person. I'm only grateful that when I asked him for his autograph I wasn't subjected to a mouthful of vitriolic abuse (he kindly signed for me without comment). I found the presenter of the programme, Simon Heffer, to be rather too smug and self-satisfied for my liking.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2021, 09:10:35 AM by vandermolen »
"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).

Online Roasted Swan

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Re: sir Malcolm Arnold
« Reply #609 on: October 27, 2021, 10:48:54 AM »
I listened to the BBC Radio 4 programme about Arnold. It was ok but nothing special and didn't tell me anything new. I didn't see the point of interviewing a psychiatrist who had never met Arnold. I thought that, by far, the most interesting interviewee was Arnold's daughter Catherine. Notwithstanding his mental illness Arnold was obviously, at times, a deeply unpleasant person. I'm only grateful that when I asked him for his autograph I wasn't subjected to a mouthful of vitriolic abuse (he kindly signed for me without comment). I found the presenter of the programme, Simon Heffer, to be rather too smug and self-satisfied for my liking.

I met Katherine (with a K) Arnold several times as well as meeting his carer Anthony Day.  The sad truth is that both of them seemed to care passionately about the man and his music.  I have no knowledge of who was/is "right" in the dispute over Arnold's will and estate but its so sad that such a genius legacy is in some way tainted by his behaviour when he was alive and/or the contested estate after he died........

Offline vandermolen

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Re: sir Malcolm Arnold
« Reply #610 on: October 27, 2021, 10:56:33 AM »
I met Katherine (with a K) Arnold several times as well as meeting his carer Anthony Day.  The sad truth is that both of them seemed to care passionately about the man and his music.  I have no knowledge of who was/is "right" in the dispute over Arnold's will and estate but its so sad that such a genius legacy is in some way tainted by his behaviour when he was alive and/or the contested estate after he died........
Totally agree and thanks for spelling correction. My wife is Catherine (with a C) but known as Katy - all v confusing!
"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).

Online Roasted Swan

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Re: sir Malcolm Arnold
« Reply #611 on: October 31, 2021, 09:50:24 AM »
Just been listening to this new release;



A curious coupling in that it combines Arnold at his most light-hearted with his ultimate bleak austere symphony (a masterpiece for me).  Gibbons is a tad controversial in the Symphony's finale in that he is 7 minutes(!) quicker than any of the other 3 recordings - 17 mins as opposed to 23/24.  Its certainly different, but too soon to feel if different good or different bad....!

But a couple of thoughts - the first new recording of this work in 20 years and (as far as I can tell) the first disc issued of a major Arnold orchestral work in his centenary year.  Rather a sad observation from where I sit.......

Offline vandermolen

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Re: sir Malcolm Arnold
« Reply #612 on: October 31, 2021, 11:13:01 AM »
Just been listening to this new release;



A curious coupling in that it combines Arnold at his most light-hearted with his ultimate bleak austere symphony (a masterpiece for me).  Gibbons is a tad controversial in the Symphony's finale in that he is 7 minutes(!) quicker than any of the other 3 recordings - 17 mins as opposed to 23/24.  Its certainly different, but too soon to feel if different good or different bad....!

But a couple of thoughts - the first new recording of this work in 20 years and (as far as I can tell) the first disc issued of a major Arnold orchestral work in his centenary year.  Rather a sad observation from where I sit.......
What an interesting release - and you make a very good point. I must listen to No.9 again.
"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 André

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Re: sir Malcolm Arnold
« Reply #613 on: October 31, 2021, 12:55:41 PM »
I wasn’t aware of this release either  :o. Just downloaded it from Spotify.

Offline Symphonic Addict

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Re: sir Malcolm Arnold
« Reply #614 on: October 31, 2021, 04:11:57 PM »
Seriously he was a freakingly brilliant and quirky composer. Just revisited his A Grand, Grand Festival Overture, Op. 57 from the Chandos CD. Gosh, this is the epitome of hilarity!!! Since it includes bells and organ, you can imagine how epic it is! And how he parodies Beethoven is nothing short of genius. What a hell of a work!!! That ending is an eargasm.
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!

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Offline relm1

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Re: sir Malcolm Arnold
« Reply #615 on: October 31, 2021, 05:26:36 PM »
Seriously he was a freakingly brilliant and quirky composer. Just revisited his A Grand, Grand Festival Overture, Op. 57 from the Chandos CD. Gosh, this is the epitome of hilarity!!! Since it includes bells and organ, you can imagine how epic it is! And how he parodies Beethoven is nothing short of genius. What a hell of a work!!! That ending is an eargasm.

Totally agree!  I was already a big fan but when I heard this work, I just loved him twice as much!

Offline vers la flamme

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Re: sir Malcolm Arnold
« Reply #616 on: October 31, 2021, 05:57:52 PM »
Been seriously digging Arnold's film music. He was a hell of a composer for the screen! I have volumes one and two of the Chandos series (are there any others in this series?)

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: sir Malcolm Arnold
« Reply #617 on: October 31, 2021, 07:58:50 PM »
Just been listening to this new release;



A curious coupling in that it combines Arnold at his most light-hearted with his ultimate bleak austere symphony (a masterpiece for me).  Gibbons is a tad controversial in the Symphony's finale in that he is 7 minutes(!) quicker than any of the other 3 recordings - 17 mins as opposed to 23/24.  Its certainly different, but too soon to feel if different good or different bad....!

But a couple of thoughts - the first new recording of this work in 20 years and (as far as I can tell) the first disc issued of a major Arnold orchestral work in his centenary year.  Rather a sad observation from where I sit.......

I consider Arnold's 9th to be an absolute masterpiece. The last movement is devastating. In a way, it's kind of like the Lento found in what would be Schnittke's last symphony, the 8th. I never considered Schnittke's final symphony to be the 9th as the composer was in frail health when he wrote it and when the work premiered he asked for the work to be withdrawn to never be played again. Anyway, I should revisit this Arnold symphony and really his music in general. He's one of my favorite British composers.
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Online Roasted Swan

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Re: sir Malcolm Arnold
« Reply #618 on: November 01, 2021, 01:03:41 AM »
I consider Arnold's 9th to be an absolute masterpiece. The last movement is devastating. In a way, it's kind of like the Lento found in what would be Schnittke's last symphony, the 8th. I never considered Schnittke's final symphony to be the 9th as the composer was in frail health when he wrote it and when the work premiered he asked for the work to be withdrawn to never be played again. Anyway, I should revisit this Arnold symphony and really his music in general. He's one of my favorite British composers.

The conductor here John Gibbons has quite a controversial take on the finale.  The score is clearly marked as crochet (quarter note) = 60 and the marking is "lento".  Gibbons plays it closer to = 80.  hence the total timing is around 17 minutes where as the other 3 commercial recordings are all 23-24.  His argument is two-fold; 1) Arnold as conductor often ignored his own markings (I'd counter that by saying Arnold was usually slower in those instances NOT faster) and 2) the faster tempo allows the music to flow to the final D major resolution and makes the finale less "hard won" and more optimistic.

I'm finding it hard to get the slower tempo out of my ear and in any case I think the ultimate resolution SHOULD be hard won and that the movement as a whole is devastating as you say at the slower tempo.  But Gibons has a track record of promoting British music in general and Arnold in particular so I'm loath to rush to judgement......

Offline relm1

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Re: sir Malcolm Arnold
« Reply #619 on: November 01, 2021, 05:57:42 AM »
The conductor here John Gibbons has quite a controversial take on the finale.  The score is clearly marked as crochet (quarter note) = 60 and the marking is "lento".  Gibbons plays it closer to = 80.  hence the total timing is around 17 minutes where as the other 3 commercial recordings are all 23-24.  His argument is two-fold; 1) Arnold as conductor often ignored his own markings (I'd counter that by saying Arnold was usually slower in those instances NOT faster) and 2) the faster tempo allows the music to flow to the final D major resolution and makes the finale less "hard won" and more optimistic.

I'm finding it hard to get the slower tempo out of my ear and in any case I think the ultimate resolution SHOULD be hard won and that the movement as a whole is devastating as you say at the slower tempo.  But Gibons has a track record of promoting British music in general and Arnold in particular so I'm loath to rush to judgement......

That's an interesting take.  I'd also say based on Arnold's temperament, he was not optimistic but very dark and the slower performance helps imbue the work with a greater sense of hopelessness and pessimism.  The D major at the end is very timid, not optimism but almost resignation.   Slightly off topic, but did anyone here see the Martin Scorsese movie, "Silence"?  It is a very long but expertly gripping story with fabulous acting and an incredibly moving story.  The final shot in the film has the same attitude to me as Arnold's 9th final D major moments. 


« Last Edit: November 01, 2021, 06:01:08 AM by relm1 »